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Thématiques: Bisque

  • Niderviller Manufactory
    Niderviller Manufactory

    Rare Porcelain, Bisque and Bronze Mantel Garniture Comprising a Clock and a Pair of Ornamental Vases

    APF_Pendule156_05

    Niderviller Manufactory, known as the Comte de Custine’s Manufactory

    Lorraine, époque Louis XVI, vers 1785

    Pendule :
    Height37.5 Width20
    Vases :
    Height27

    The vase-shaped clock features two cercles tournants comprising two rows of white enamel cartouches, bearing the signature “Arnould à Nanci”, the signature of the Nancy clockmaker Nicolas Arnould. They indicate the Roman numeral hours and the Arabic five-minute intervals by means of a blued steel pointer. The movement is housed in a magnificent polychrome hard paste porcelain baluster vase, in the style of an antique vase, decorated with gold leaf garlands against a blue ground. On either side there is an oval medallion depicting a lake scene done in the manner of Claude Gelée (known as Le Lorrain). The bisque handles are in the form of female masks coiffed with flower wreaths. The belly of the vase is adorned with leaf and flower garlands; the cover is decorated with acanthus leaves, with a pinecone finial. The lower portion of the vase is embellished with delicate gadroons that are partially gilt. The spreading base is adorned with gadroons and a leaf frieze. The clock rests on a quadrangular base that is painted in imitation of fleur de pêcher marble. The elaborate, baluster shaped vases that complete the garniture feature an en suite décor.

    This exceptional mantel garniture stands out from among the rare comparable models known today. Indeed, the clock has retained its decorative side vases, which happens very rarely. Among the similar models known – all now lacking their matching vases – one example is illustrated in G. and A. Wannenes, Les plus belles pendules françaises, de Louis XIV à l’Empire, Polistampa, Florence, 2013, p. 248. A second example with a white ground, signed “Garrigues à Marseille”, was formerly in the Hudelot and Le Tallec collections (illustrated in Tardy, Les plus belles pendules françaises, La pendule française dans le Monde, Paris, 1994, p. 93; see also P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Les éditions de l’Amateur, Paris, 1997, p. 301). A third example is illustrated in P. Heuer and K. Maurice, European Pendulum Clocks, Decorative Instruments of Measuring Time, Munich, 1988, p. 44, fig. 64, and a fourth example is in the Musée Sandelin in Saint-Omer (illustrated in A. Lemaire and M. Gay, “Les pendules à cercles tournants”, in Bulletin de l’Association nationale des collectionneurs et amateurs d’Horlogerie ancienne, spring 1994, n° 69, p. 20, fig. 26).

    One further similar clock that is nearly identical to the present example, comprising a clock made by Nicolas Arnould père in Nancy, with its matching mantel garniture, is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris (see B. Rondot and X. Salmon, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Catalogue des collections, RMN, Paris, 1998, p. 22, catalogue n°100).

    Niderviller Manufactory

    Originally a faience factory, founded in 1735. On September 4, 1748, Jean-Louis Beyerlé, then the director of the Strasburg mint, purchased the manufacture for 90.000 livres. He quickly expanded production by hiring François-Antoine Anstett, who had been trained at the Meissen Factory. Approximately two decades later, Jean-Louis Beyerlé, who had infringed on the royal privilege for the production of hard-paste porcelain that had been granted to the Royal Sèvres Manufacture, sold the factory to Adam-Philippe, Count de Custine, who diversified production by purchasing the majority of Paul-Louis Cyfflé’s molds and by hiring the promising sculptor Charles-Gabriel Sauvage (known as Lemire, 1741-1827). When the Revolution broke out, the Count de Custine was condemned, and the Niderviller pottery factory was confiscated, becoming the property of the nation.



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    Duke d’Angoulême’s Factory

    Rare Paris Bisque Porcelain and Matte and Burnished Gilt Mantel Clock

    Cupid Shooting his Arrow

    Pendule_218-05_HD_WEB

    Dihl and Guérhard Porcelain Factory, known as the Duke d’Angoulême’s Factory

    Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1790

    Height50 Width31.5 Depth18.8

    The round white enamel dial indicates the Arabic numeral hours and fifteen-minute intervals by means of two pierced gilt bronze hands. The hour and half-hour striking movement is housed in a magnificent gilt bronze and Paris bisque porcelain case. The clock is surmounted by an allegorical figure representing Cupid among clouds, kneeling on a plinth with canted corners, with one knee on the ground and his quiver with arrows at his feet. He is about to shoot an arrow. The group rests upon an architectural case that is decorated with canaux, with protruding corners and tapering side columns decorated with piasters, leaf garlands, and laurel leaf seeds that terminate in lion’s paw feet. The case rests on a quadrangular base with reserves framed by bead friezes, and is supported on four leaf and seed-wrapped ball feet. The clock is elaborately decorated with motifs painted in shades of gray, against yellow grounds or framed by spandrels, bead friezes, and panels with leaf frames, with weapon or musical trophies and valences supporting vases with flowers and fowl. The three sides are decorated with floral and foliate motifs, and the façade features a shell inscribed: “Mre Guerhard et Dihl a Paris”.

    This magnificent clock is an example of the extraordinary creativity of the Parisian clockmakers of the last decades of the 18th century, who were able to create extremely original work of exceptional quality, using the most luxurious and precious materials. The sculptural treatment of the Cupid figure, the subtlety and elegance of the painted motifs, and the exceptional gilding and chasing of the bronze mounts, are characteristic of the esthetic and technical perfection achieved by the great Parisian artisans of the late Louis XVI period. It was produced by the celebrated factory of the Duke d’Angoulême, which was named for the aristocrat who became its protector as of 1781. The Duke entrusted the factory’s running to Christophe Erasmus Dihl and Antoine Guérhard and his wife, Louise Françoise Madeleine Croizé. Under their direction the factory became the main rival of the Sèvres porcelain factory during the final years of the 18th century and during the reign of Napoleon I. After the fall of the monarchy the factory created new models, including unglazed groups or figures. These were especially popular when mounted as “large clocks made of fine bisque porcelain” (Dictionnaire universel de la géographie commerçante, Tome V, p. 325, cited by R. de Plinval de Guillebon, Les biscuits de porcelaine de Paris XVIIIe-XIXe siècles, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2012, p. 199).

    The present clock is exceptional due to its very rare design. Among the rare identical examples known, one clock, whose dial is signed “Jacob à Paris”, was sold at auction in Paris by Me Couturier-Nicolay, on April 26, 1989, lot 48 (illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age à nos jours, Paris, 1997, p. 341, fig. A). A second, formerly in the Berthe Fontana collection, was sold in Paris, Hôtel Drouot, Me Lair-Dubreuil, March 15, 1922, lot 56.

    Revel
    Joseph-Marie Revel (?-1811)

    Rare Sphinx Mantle Clock

    APF14_Pendulerie_0051

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785

    Height52.5 Width32.5 Depth15

    The enamel dial, with Arabic hours and minutes, is contained within a drum-shaped gilt bronze case adorned with ormolu flower garlands and a ribbon bow; at its summit there is a finely chased ormolu plume. On either side of the dial, two winged sphinxes coiffed with nemes headdresses support entablatures decorated with enamel plaques, which are surmounted by topiary vases. The base, with rounded white marble sides that are finely painted with polychrome arabesque motifs, has a central paste-decorated verre églomisé plaque centred by a blue imitation Wedgwood bisque medallion with a low-relief depiction of the three Graces. Stylised gilt bronze friezes provide highlights; the base is of black marble.

    This clock’s elegant design places it among the most remarkable animal-themed clocks made during the last quarter of the 18th century in Paris. The rare known similar examples feature the same combination of rare and precious materials. One example was formerly in the collection of the Radziwill Princes, in the Château d’Ermenonville (sold in Paris by Me Ader on March 8, 1933, lot 31); a second piece, with dial signed Lechopié à Paris, was formerly in the collection of Mrs. Thelma Chrysler Foy (Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 15 and 16, 1959, lot 295); a third is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, 1997, p. 281; one last example, whose dial is signed F.L. Godon, is in the Spanish Royal Collections (illustrated in J. Ramon Colon de Carvajal, Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1987, p. 77, catalogue n° 61).

    Joseph-Marie Revel (? - 1811)

    Very little is known about this clockmaker, who was nevertheless very famous during his lifetime. Briefly mentioned in the Tardy’s Dictionnaire des horlogers under the name of Joseph Revel, he was actually named Joseph-Marie; he died in Paris in 1811. After becoming a master on August 12, 1775, he opened a workshop in the Vieille rue du Temple, and was mentioned in the Palais Royal from 1787 to 1790, in the Palais Egalité around 1800, and in the Palais Tribunat from 1804 to 1806. Several probate inventories dating from the early decades of the 19th century mention a number of his clocks; a clock by Revel was estimated in 1817 after the death of Adélaïde de Lespinasse-Langeac, the wife of the chevalier de Costalin; in 1821 another was in the collection of the Countess de Medem, Anne-Charlotte-Dorothée, the widow of the powerful Duke de Courlande.



    Revel  -  Dubuisson  -  Rémond  -  Sèvres

    Exceptional Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze, Sèvres Porcelain, and Black and Red Griotte Italian Marble Mantel Clock

    La Leçon de l’Amour” and “La Leçon à l’Amour”

    Pendule294-05_HD_WEB

    Joseph-Marie Revel (died in Paris in 1811)

    The enamel dial by Etienne Gobin, known as Dubuisson (1731-1815)

    The bronzes attributed to François Rémond

    The bisque groups by the Royal Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory after models by sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot

    Almost certainly made under the supervision of Dominique Daguerre

    Paris, Directoire period, circa 1795

    Height56 Width67.5 Depth16.5

    The round white enamel dial is signed “Revel à Paris” and “Dubuis”, which stands for Etienne Gobin, one of the most renowned Parisian enamelers of the period, and a colleague and rival of Joseph Coteau. It indicates the Arabic numeral hours, fifteen-minute intervals, and Republican date by means of three hands, two of which are made of pierced and gilt bronze. The dial is housed in an octagonal case decorated with a stiff leaf frieze, whose bezel is adorned with bead and star friezes. The clock is surmounted by a group representing Cupid in a chariot drawn by two doves, holding a flaming torch and riding among clouds that are decorated with flower and leaf garlands. The movement rests on an oval pillar, which is elaborately adorned with motifs including female masks, cord friezes, fluting, and a scene depicting children playing with a goat, in the manner of the sculptor Clodion, and rests upon a laurel torus supported by four griffons. On either side of the pillar stand bisque groups by the Sèvres Manufactory, representing “La Leçon de l’Amour” and “La Leçon à l’Amour”. The quadrangular base with protruding fluted pilasters, is embellished with braid and leaf friezes; in the center a framed reserve depicting Cupid is flanked by bisque porcelain medallions with a blue ground, in the manner of Wedgwood bisque medallions, which feature mythological scenes. The medallions are framed by bead friezes and are suspended from flower garlands held by butterflies. The base is supported by four reclining sphinxes whose tails terminate in scrolls, and which rest in turn on an oblong plinth that is raised upon four flattened ball feet.

    Bibliography:

    – Jean-Dominique Augarde, Les ouvriers du Temps, La pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier, Editions Antiquorum, Genève, 1996, p. 44, fig. 28 (illustration)

     

    The present clock, a masterpiece of Parisian horology of the late 18th century, is extremely luxurious and may be confidently attributed to the chaser-gilder François Rémond, who worked almost exclusively for marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, the most important supplier of luxury goods of the period. This attribution, which has been confirmed in a conversation with Monsieur Christian Baulez, honorary curator of the Musée national du Château de Versailles and a Rémond specialist, suggests that the clock was ordered by an extremely prestigious connoisseur. The bisque porcelain groups were created at the Sèvres porcelain factory after models by sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809), who at the time was the director of the Manufactory’s sculpture workshop.

    Today, only three identical clocks are known. The first example is on display in the Grassy Horological Museum in Madrid (most of the pieces in the museum were formerly in the collection of the great Catalan collector Perez de Olaguer-Feliu. The second clock, whose dial is signed “Antoine Philibert”, was purchased in Paris in 1910 by Mrs. Arabella Huntington; it is today in the Huntington Collection in San Marino, California (pictured in S.M. Bennett and C. Sargentson, French Art of the Eighteenth Century at the Huntington, 2008, p. 154, catalogue n° 51). One further example of the model, in which the bisque groups are replaced by bronze groups depicting the same themes, was previously in the collection of Prince Nikolai Borisovich Yusupov (1750-1831) in Moscow. It was transferred to the Yusupov Palace in Saint Petersburg in 1850, and was seized during the 1917 Revolution and deposited in the Hermitage Museum in 1925 (pictured in the exhibition catalogue The Triumph of Eros, Art and Seduction in the 18th Century France, Somerset House, London, November 2006-April 2007, p. 79, fig. 31).

    Joseph-Marie Revel (? - 1811)

    Very little is known about this clockmaker, who was nevertheless very famous during his lifetime. Briefly mentioned in the Tardy’s Dictionnaire des horlogers under the name of Joseph Revel, he was actually named Joseph-Marie; he died in Paris in 1811. After becoming a master on August 12, 1775, he opened a workshop in the Vieille rue du Temple, and was mentioned in the Palais Royal from 1787 to 1790, in the Palais Egalité around 1800, and in the Palais Tribunat from 1804 to 1806. Several probate inventories dating from the early decades of the 19th century mention a number of his clocks; a clock by Revel was estimated in 1817 after the death of Adélaïde de Lespinasse-Langeac, the wife of the chevalier de Costalin; in 1821 another was in the collection of the Countess de Medem, Anne-Charlotte-Dorothée, the widow of the powerful Duke de Courlande.



    Dubuisson (1731 - 1815)

    Étienne Gobin, known as Dubuisson, was one of the best enamellers working in Paris during the latter part of the 18th century and the early 19th century. During the mid 1750’s he was employed at Sèvres, then opened his own workshop, being recorded in the 1790’s in the rue de la Huchette and, circa 1812, in the rue de la Calandre. Specializing in enamelled watch cases and clock dials, he is known for his great skill and attention to detail.



    François Rémond (circa 1747 - 1812)

    Along with Pierre Gouthière, he was one of the most important Parisian chaser-gilders of the last third of the 18th century. He began his apprenticeship in 1763 and became a master chaser-gilder in 1774. His great talent quickly won him a wealthy clientele, including certain members of the Court. Through the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, François Rémond was involved in furnishing the homes of most of the important collectors of the late 18th century, supplying them with exceptional clock cases, firedogs, and candelabra. These elegant and innovative pieces greatly contributed to his fame.



    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    The Vincennes porcelain factory was created in 1740 under the patronage of Louis XV and the Marquise of Pompadour. It was created to rival with the Meissen porcelain factory, and became its principal European rival. In 1756 it was transferred to Sèvres, becoming the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory. Still active today, during the course of its existence it has had several periods of extraordinary creativity and has called on the finest French and European artisans. Kings and emperors considered it an exemplary showcase for French know-how. Most of the pieces created in the manufactory workshops were intended to be given as diplomatic gifts or to decorate the castles and royal palaces of the 18th and 19th centuries.



    Dominique Daguerre

    Dominique Daguerre is the most important marchand-mercier (i.e. merchant of luxury objects) of the last quarter of the 18th century. Little is known about the early years of his career; he appears to have begun to exercise his profession around 1772, the year he went into partnership with Philippe-Simon Poirier (1720-1785), the famous marchand-mercier who began using porcelain plaques from the Manufacture royale de Sèvres to adorn pieces of furniture. When Poirier retired around 1777-1778, Daguerre took over the shop in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, keeping the name “La Couronne d’Or”. He retained his predecessor’s clientele, and significantly increased the shop’s activity within just a few years. He played an important role in the renewal of the Parisian decorative arts, working with the finest cabinetmakers of the day, including Adam Weisweiler, Martin Carlin and Claude-Charles Saunier, cabinetmaker of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, Georges Jacob, the bronziers and chaser-gilders Pierre-Philippe Thomire and François Rémond, and the clockmaker Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau. A visionary merchant who brought the level of French luxury goods to its highest point, Daguerre settled in England in the early 1780’s, having gone into partnership with Martin-Eloi Lignereux, who remained in charge of the Paris shop. In London, where he enjoyed the patronage of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), Daguerre actively participated in the furnishing and decoration of Carlton House and the Brighton Pavilion. Taking advantage of his extensive network of Parisian artisans, he imported most of the furniture, chairs, mantelpieces, bronze furnishings, and art objects from France, billing over 14500£, just for 1787. Impressed by Daguerre’s talent, several British aristocrats, called on his services as well. Count Spencer engaged him for the decoration of Althorp, where Daguerre worked alongside architect Henry Holland (1745-1806). In Paris, Daguerre and his partner Lignereux continued to supply influential connoisseurs and to deliver magnificent pieces of furniture to the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, which were placed in the apartments of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Daguerre retired in 1793, no doubt deeply affected by the French Revolution and the loss of many of his most important clients.



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