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Thématiques: Porcelain

  • Dubuisson  -  Locré
    Dubuisson (1731-1815)
    Locré Manufactory (1772-1824)

    Exceptional Celadon Green Porcelain and Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze Lyre-Form Clock

    Pendule309-04_BD_MAIL

    The dial signed and dated “Dubuisson 1818”

    Paris, first quarter of the 19th century, circa 1815-1820

    Height60 Width26.5 Depth15

    The round white enamel dial, adorned with a frieze of gold flowers and cabochons in the manner of Coteau, indicates the Roman numeral hours, the minute graduations and the date, by means of three hands, two of which are made of pierced and gilt bronze. It is dated “1818” and is signed “Dubuisson”, the mark of the workshop of Etienne Gobin, known as Dubuisson (1731-1815), whose widow continued to run the workshop after the enameler’s death. The movement is set in a magnificent finely chased matte and burnished gilt bronze lyre-form case with celadon green porcelain mounts made by the Locré factory. The bezel, decorated with a frieze of leaves and seeds, is framed by a ring of brilliant-cut rhinestones. The sides of the lyre are embellished with bands chased with ribbons and beads and adorned with laurel branches emerging from sun motifs. The upper portion, to which the bimetallic pendulum is attached, is decorated with spiral rosettes, flower and leaf garlands, and a sun mask symbolizing Apollo, the sun god. The oval base is adorned with spiral bands and an egg-and-dart frieze, and is embellished with suspended flower swags. The clock is raised upon four flattened ball feet.

    The “lyre” clock model was produced in porcelain by the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory as of the mid-1780s. It was generally made in one of four colors: turquoise, green, pink, and a blue known as bleu nouveau. These extraordinary clocks were made for the most important collectors of the time; in his Salon des jeux in Versailles King Louis XVI had a blue porcelain lyre clock whose dial was signed by the clockmaker Courieult (almost certainly the example illustrated in P. Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1999, p. 41). However, it was the clockmaker Kinable, the largest purchaser of this type of clock cases from the factory, who developed the model toward the end of Louis XVI’s reign. He signed the dial of a rare turquoise porcelain clock that is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, 1997, p. 230, fig. A. To the best of our knowledge, only one other green porcelain lyre clock is known; produced by the Sèvres factory, it is today in the Musée François Duesberg in Mons (illustrated in Musée François Duesberg, Arts décoratifs 1775-1825, Brussels, 2004, p. 25).

    The present clock presents unique features. It was made during the first quarter of the 19th century, not by the Sèvres porcelain factory, but by the Locré factory, which at the time was called  “Pouyat et Russinger”, and was one of the most important Parisian manufactories of the early 19th century. Located in the rue Fontaine-au-Roi, the factory had been founded in the early 1770s by Jean-Baptiste Locré. Several years later, Locré went into partnership with Laurent Russinger, who ran the manufactory until the late 18th century. Around 1800, the Limoges merchant François Pouyat became Russinger’s partner and became responsible for running the company. Pouyat greatly increased the factory’s activities until 1810, then sold it to his three sons, who continued production, with great success, until the Restoration. The Pouyat et Russinger factory specialized in common but high quality articles, mainly tableware and decorative pieces. At the same time, it produced works on commission – these were very high quality luxury items including several vases with grisaille decoration, such as a pair of oval vases that were formerly in the collection of Michel Bloit and are today in the Musée Adrien Dubouché in Limoges (see R. de Plinval de Guillebon, Faïence et porcelaine de Paris XVIIIe-XIXe siècles, Editions Faton, Dijon, 1995, p. 403, fig. 395) and the present lyre clock, which appears to be the only example made by the Locré Manufacture, along the lines of the model produced by the Sèvres porcelain factory.

    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.



    Locré Manufactory (1772 - 1824)

    The Locré Manufactory (active 1772-1824) is one of the most important Parisian factories of the last third of the 18th century and the final decades of the following century. Located in the rue Fontaine-au-Roi in Paris, the factory was founded in the early 1770s by Jean-Baptiste Locré. Several years later Locré went into partnership with Laurent Russinger, a porcelain maker and a sculptor, who became the director of the factory until the late 18th century. The factory, which soon became known for the exceptional quality and originality of his work, was one of the main rivals of the Royal Sèvres Manufactory.



    In the same category
    Godon  -  Coteau
    François-Louis Godon
    Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)
    Locré Manufactory (1772-1824)

    Exceptional Hard-Paste Paris Porcelain and Gilt Bronze Mantel Clock

    Pendule249-05_HD_WEB

    Attributed to the Locré Manufactory

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1785

    Height42.5 Width19.5 Depth12.8

    Provenance:

    – Probably the clock “in porcelain with date and gilt bronze mounts…” that François-Louis Godon sold for 600 livres to the estranged wife of his fellow clockmaker Jean-Baptiste-André Furet in December 1786.

     

    The white enamel dial, signed “Godon Reloxero de Camara de S.M.C.” and Coteau, indicates the Arabic numeral hours, fifteen-minute intervals, and date by means of three hands, two made of pierced and gilt bronze and one blued steel pointer. The movement, whose plate is engraved “Godon Horloger du Roy et de la Cour d’Espagne 1786”, is housed in a hard-paste Paris porcelain vase with polychrome and gold decoration on a white ground. The motifs include ribbon-tied garlands, wreaths, bouquets of flowers and foliage, a medallion with a landscape featuring pheasants, and a crosshatch pattern centered by flowers. The shaped oval base is decorated with delicate flower swags within foliate frames. The lavish gilt mounts are finely chased and gilded; the bezel is adorned with chased friezes including beads and rope patterns. The clock is surmounted by a magnificent bouquet of roses. The sides are adorned with female terms forming handles, which are coiffed with laurels, wreaths and draperies and from which issue tasseled draperies and flower and leaf swags. The clock stands on four curved legs that are decorated with beadwork and flower garlands and terminate in goats’ hooves and a central quiver with feathered arrows that emerges from a bouquet of leaves; the legs are linked by two rings. The shaped oval plinth is raised on four toupie feet with engine-turned decoration.

    Considered the height of French luxury at the end of the Louis XVI period, this exceptional mantel clock, which blends hard-paste Paris porcelain with chased and gilt bronze, is typical of the French luxury horological items that were produced for influential French and European collectors.

    To the best of our knowledge, only three other identical clocks – with decorative variations – are known. Among them, one example, whose porcelain fittings have been erroneously attributed to the Royal Sèvres Manufactory, is on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (illustrated in Tardy, La pendule française dans le Monde, Paris, 1994, p. 78). A second clock, bequeathed in 1928 by Ernest Cognacq, is today in the Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris. A third example, which may formerly have been in the collection of the banker John Pierpont Morgan, appears in E. Niehüser, Die französische Bronzeuhr, Eine Typologie der figürlichen Darstellungen, Munich, 1997, p. 265, fig. 1330.

    François-Louis Godon

    François-Louis Godon became a master clockmaker in Paris in February 1787, although he had begun working several years previously. Having gone into partnership as early as 1785 with his Parisian colleague Jean-Baptiste-André Furet, Godon is known for having been a trusted horological supplier to kings Charles III and Charles IV of Spain. In March 1786, having been named “Relojero de Camara” (Clockmaker to the King of Spain), he became the Parisian supplier of luxury porcelain pieces, clocks, and bronze furnishings to the Spanish Court. Today many of his clocks are in the Madrid Decorative Arts Museum and the Spanish Royal Collections.



    Joseph Coteau (1740 - 1801)

    The most renowned enameller of his time, he worked with most of the best contemporary Parisian clockmakers. He was born in Geneva, where he was named master painter-enameler of the Académie de Saint Luc in 1766. Several years later he settled in Paris, and from 1772 to the end of his life, he was recorded in the rue Poupée. Coteau is known for a technique of relief enamel painting, which he perfected along with Parpette and which was used for certain Sèvres porcelain pieces, as well as for the dials of very fine clocks. Among the pieces that feature this distinctive décor are a covered bowl and tray in the Sèvres Musée national de la Céramique (Inv. SCC2011-4-2); a pair of “cannelés à guirlandes” vases in the Louvre Museum in Paris (see the exhibition catalogue Un défi au goût, 50 ans de création à la manufacture royale de Sèvres (1740-1793), Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1997, p. 108, catalogue n° 61); and a ewer and the “Comtesse du Nord” tray and bowl in the Pavlovsk Palace in Saint Petersburg (see M. Brunet and T. Préaud, Sèvres, Des origines à nos jours, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1978, p. 207, fig. 250). A blue Sèvres porcelain lyre clock by Courieult, whose dial is signed “Coteau” and is dated “1785”, is in the Musée national du château in Versailles; it appears to be identical to the example mentioned in the 1787 inventory of Louis XVI’s apartments in Versailles (see Y. Gay and A. Lemaire, “Les pendules lyre”, in Bulletin de l’Association nationale des collectionneurs et amateurs d’Horlogerie ancienne, autumn 1993, n° 68, p. 32C).



    Locré Manufactory (1772 - 1824)

    The Locré Manufactory (active 1772-1824) is one of the most important Parisian factories of the last third of the 18th century and the final decades of the following century. Located in the rue Fontaine-au-Roi in Paris, the factory was founded in the early 1770s by Jean-Baptiste Locré. Several years later Locré went into partnership with Laurent Russinger, a porcelain maker and a sculptor, who became the director of the factory until the late 18th century. The factory, which soon became known for the exceptional quality and originality of his work, was one of the main rivals of the Royal Sèvres Manufactory.



    In the same category
    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.



    In the same category
    Vaillant  -  Coteau  -  Daguerre
    Jacques-François Vaillant (?-1786)
    Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)
    Dominique Daguerre

    Rare Sèvres Porcelain and Matte and Burnished Gilt Bronze Vase Clock

    Pendule_216-11_BD_MAIL

    The Enamel Dial Signed Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)

    Undoubtedly Made under the Supervision of Dominique Daguerre

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1780-1785

    Height55.5 Width33 Depth13

    The round white enamel dial, adorned with polychrome cartouches painted with the signs of the Zodiac, is signed “Vaillant”. It indicates the Roman numeral hours, the Arabic numeral ten-minute intervals, the date and annual calendar by means of four hands, two of which are pierced and made of gilt bronze and two of blued steel. The movement is housed in a rectangular case adorned with garlands suspended from pastilles, ribbon-tied olive leaf swags, and medallions with stars set against sunray motifs. The lower portion of the case is adorned with a leaf frieze; it is surmounted by a canaux-decorated entablature that is supported by two lightly draped winged putti. The partially matted plinth is adorned with two flower and leaf bouquets placed on either side of a circular base, on which is set a magnificent green Sèvres porcelain vase that features white and gilt decorative motifs, including a ribbon-tied laurel torus, a geometric frieze of lozenges centered by flowers and a lid decorated with partially    pierced medallions featuring stars on sunray grounds. The lower part of the vase is adorned with stiff leaves; the pedestal is fluted. The lid is surmounted by a seed finial; the handles are formed by female busts adorned with scrolls, all of finely chased gilt bronze. The shaped base with sloping molding is lavishly decorated with ribbon-tied flower swags that are suspended from pastilles. The clock is raised on six feet that are finely chased with foliage.

    This clock, which blends porcelain from the Royal Sèvres Factory and gilt bronze putti figures, may be considered one of the most luxurious examples of fine Parisian horology during the last quarter of the 18th century. Only a few similar clocks were made during this period. Among them, one example which is part of a garniture, is displayed in the Pavlovsk Palace in Saint Petersburg (illustrated in A. Kuchumov, Pavlovsk, Palace & Park, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1975, p. 104). A second clock, whose gilt bronze base is signed “Osmond”, was formerly in the collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild and is today in the Louvre Museum in Paris (shown in D. Alcouffe, A. Dion-Tenenbaum and G. Mabille, Les bronzes d’ameublement du Louvre, Editions Faton, Dijon, 2004, p. 132-133, catalogue n° 61). One further example, formerly in the collection of Prince Anatole Demidoff in Florence, is illustrated in P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, I, London, 1996, p. 513.

    The present clock is a version of a much less elaborate model that was made of gilt bronze – that is, without the Sèvres porcelain vase. Several examples of this type are known: one example, in gilt bronze and white marble, formerly in the Russian Imperial Collection (see P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age à nos jours, Les éditions de l’Amateur, Paris, 1997, p. 240). A second piece, whose dial is signed “Guydamour à Paris”, is in the Frick Collection in New York (illustrated in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Band I, Munich, 1986, p. 280, fig. 4.13.2). The unusual design of the present model suggests that the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre was involved in its creation. Daguerre had a near-monopoly on the orders placed with the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory, and had secured the services of the three finest Parisian bronze casters and chaser-gilders of the time, Pierre-Philippe Thomire, François Rémond and Pierre Gouthière. It is vey likely that one of the three was the creator of the bronze case containing the movement made by clockmaker Jacques-François Vaillant, and whose enamel dial was the work of the finest contemporary enameler, Joseph Coteau.

    Jacques-François Vaillant (? - 1786)

    Jacques-François Vaillant is one of the most important Parisian clockmakers of the late 18th century. After becoming a master on September 7, 1750 he opened a workshop in the Quai des Augustins, at the corner of the rue de Hurepoix, and quickly gained renown among the connoisseurs of fine horology. During the early years of the 19th century, his clocks are mentioned in the probate inventories of Charles-Marie-Philippe Huchet de la Bédoyère, Charles Jean-François Malon de Bercy, Charles-Eugène de Montesquiou-Fezensac and Jérôme-Joseph-Marie-Honoré Grimaldi, Prince de Monaco.



    Joseph Coteau (1740 - 1801)

    The most renowned enameller of his time, he worked with most of the best contemporary Parisian clockmakers. He was born in Geneva, where he was named master painter-enameler of the Académie de Saint Luc in 1766. Several years later he settled in Paris, and from 1772 to the end of his life, he was recorded in the rue Poupée. Coteau is known for a technique of relief enamel painting, which he perfected along with Parpette and which was used for certain Sèvres porcelain pieces, as well as for the dials of very fine clocks. Among the pieces that feature this distinctive décor are a covered bowl and tray in the Sèvres Musée national de la Céramique (Inv. SCC2011-4-2); a pair of “cannelés à guirlandes” vases in the Louvre Museum in Paris (see the exhibition catalogue Un défi au goût, 50 ans de création à la manufacture royale de Sèvres (1740-1793), Musée du Louvre, Paris, 1997, p. 108, catalogue n° 61); and a ewer and the “Comtesse du Nord” tray and bowl in the Pavlovsk Palace in Saint Petersburg (see M. Brunet and T. Préaud, Sèvres, Des origines à nos jours, Office du Livre, Fribourg, 1978, p. 207, fig. 250). A blue Sèvres porcelain lyre clock by Courieult, whose dial is signed “Coteau” and is dated “1785”, is in the Musée national du château in Versailles; it appears to be identical to the example mentioned in the 1787 inventory of Louis XVI’s apartments in Versailles (see Y. Gay and A. Lemaire, “Les pendules lyre”, in Bulletin de l’Association nationale des collectionneurs et amateurs d’Horlogerie ancienne, autumn 1993, n° 68, p. 32C).



    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.



    Sotiau  -  Daguerre  -  Sèvres
    Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau (1749-1791)
    Dominique Daguerre
    Sèvres Royal Manufactory

    An Exceptional Gilt Bronze and Sèvres Porcelain Mantel Clock

    APF_Pendule125_05

    The Enamel Dial by Georges-Adrien Merlet

    Under the Supervision of Marchand-Mercier Dominique Daguerre

    Royal Sèvres Manufactory, Louis XVI period, 1782

    Height62.5 Width48 Depth16.5

    Provenance:

    – Probably delivered by Dominique Daguerre circa 1785 to the Duke of Saxe-Teschen

    – Formerly in the collection of Cécile de Rothschild, Paris.

     

    The round enamel dial, signed “Sotiau à Paris”, indicates the hours in Roman numerals, the fifteen-minute intervals in Arabic numerals, the date and the days of the week, by means of four hands, two of which are made of gilt bronze and the remaining two of polished steel. On the reverse it bears the name “G. Merlet”, which is the signature of Georges-Adrien Merlet. One of the finest contemporary Parisian enamellers, Merlet was a colleague and rival of Joseph Coteau and Etienne Gobin (known as Dubuisson). The movement is housed in a fine chased and gilt bronze architectural humpback case. The clock is surmounted by two winged Cupids sitting amongst clouds, one of whom has an arrow in his left hand. They hold a medallion whose beaded frame is decorated with rose garlands that spill over onto the cornice. The egg and dart frieze-adorned entablature rests upon a pillar decorated with floral and foliate mounts that is flanked by four fluted Doric columns with moulded bases and capitals. It rests upon a terrace with matted reserves and dots, whose central protruding element features moulding decorated with chased acanthus leaves and flowers. The otherwise quadrangular base is adorned with blued metal rods wrapped in matted gilt bronze ribbons. The toupie feet are decorated with chased acanthus leaves.

    The clock is decorated with eleven porcelain plaques with Sèvres sky blue frames. The surmounting medallion is centred by an oval plaque depicting a winged Cupid sitting amongst clouds. He holds a spyglass and a parchment inscribed: “Observations sur l’Usage des Barom(ètres)” (Observations on the use of barometers). Underneath the dial a second rectangular plaque with curved upper portion depicts a putto sitting on a cloud, wrapped in purple draperies. He is measuring a sundial with a compass. To his right is a book entitled “Gnomonique ou l’Art de faire des Cadrans” (The Art of Making Sundials). These two plaques bear Sèvres Manufactory marks: the date letter “EE” (for 1782), the mark “2000” (signature of the gilder Henry-François Vincent the elder) and the letter “K” (mark of painter Charles-Nicolas Dodin, 1734-1803). The base is centred by a rectangular plaque with alternating roses and posies, centred by a medallion depicting a fine perspective scene showing a rooster, a hen and their chicks pecking at grain; the reverse bears the Sèvres Manufactory marks: the date letter “EE” (1782), the mark “cp” (for the bird painter Antoine-Joseph Chappuis the elder), a fleur-de-lis (mark of the flower painter Vincent Taillandier,) and the signature of the gilder Michel-Barnabé Chauvaux the elder. The body of the clock is decorated with four rectangular plaques featuring beribboned swags of flowers and leaves. The base is further adorned with four Sèvres porcelain plaques featuring friezes of alternating roses and posies.

    The second half of the 18th century was an exceptional period for artistic creation in France.  The best painters, sculptors, architects, horologists, cabinetmakers, carpenters, and bronziers were supported by powerful patrons of the arts, who invested colossal sums – sometimes as much as tens of thousands of livres – in their creations. There was much change in the decorative arts, in particular, with the emergence of novel ornamental schemes and motifs inspired by the excavation of ancient Roman cities in the region of Naples. This gave rise to the new Neoclassical style, which was itself inspired by the classicism that was fashionable during the reign of Louis XIV. During this period, bronze furnishings were very popular. Clocks were included in this category; they were to undergo an unprecedented period of creativity. The use of porcelain for clock decoration is a continuation of a practice that was common during the reign of Louis XV, in which clocks were adorned with figures, animals and flowers made of Meissen or Vincennes-Sèvres porcelain. During the Louis XVI period, a new type of luxury clock emerged, as clocks were adorned with polychrome porcelain plaques from the Royal Sèvres Manufactory. Initially, the dealer Simon-Philippe Poirier, who held a virtual monopoly with the Sèvres manufactory for the purchase of porcelain plaques, stood out due to his inventiveness and taste. After 1777, his associate and successor, Dominique Daguerre, who retained the monopoly initiated by Poirier, commissioned the present clock model. Only three examples were produced; all three were made for important European collectors. Daguerre employed the finest artisans of the day: enameller Georges-Adrien Merlet and clockmaker Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau; the gilt bronze case may be attributed to either François Rémond (circa 1747-1812), or to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843), two of the most important Parisian bronziers of the time, and with whom Daguerre worked exclusively. This attribution was orally confirmed by Monsieur Christian Baulez, honourary curator of the Château de Versailles; we thank him.

    Only two other identical clocks are known to date. They feature minor variations and have provenances from influential European families. The first, also dated 1782 and signed Sotiau, comes from the J. Pierpont Morgan collection and is today in the Huntington Collection in San Marino, California. Its surmounting medallion features the portrait of Archiduke Maximilian of Hapsburg, the last Elector and Archbishop of Cologne (illustrated in Robert R. Wark, French Decorative Art in the Huntington Collection, San Marino, 1961, p. 97, fig. 85). Its recently discovered history reveals that it was made for Prince Maximilian of Hapsburg (1756-1801), the brother of Queen Marie-Antoinette, who gave it to Prince Wenceslas of Saxe (1739-1812) around 1785 (see S. Bennett and C. Sargentson, French Art of the Eighteenth Century at the Huntington, 2008, p. 149-151, catalogue n° 48).

    The second, signed by clockmaker Louis Montjoye and dated 1782, is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (illustrated in P. Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1999, p. 37, fig. 28). Sold by the Soviet government in 1932, it had been purchased in Paris in 1782 by the future Czar Paul I and his wife Maria Feodorovna, who were then travelling in Europe under the names of the Count and Countess du Nord. An early 20th century photograph shows the clock on the mantelpiece of Maria Feodorovna’s bedchamber in the Pavlovsk Palace (see A. Darr, The Dodge Collection: Eighteenth-Century French and English Art in the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1996, p. 17).

    It is likely that the present clock has an equally prestigious provenance. Its remarkable design is the same as that seen in an anonymous drawing from the Esmerian collection, which is today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see R. Baarsen, Paris 1650-1900 Decorative Arts in the Rijksmuseum, New Haven, 2013, p. 428, fig. 103). This drawing, probably not a preparatory sketch made prior to the clock’s creation, was most likely executed for Daguerre, who would have sent it to the Duke of Saxe-Teschen to present the items for sale in his Paris store. This hypothesis is confirmed by the existence of several drawings representing bronze-mounted porcelain vases, which, according to F.J.B. Watson, would have been part of an album or catalogue of objects sent by Daguerre to the Duke of Saxe-Teschen and his wife.

    The album also contains a remarkable celadon porcelain vase with gilt bronze mounts, which was in the Qizilbash collection (Sold at Christie’s, Paris, December 19, 2007, lot 803). It is interesting to note that at the time the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Teschen were building Laeken Palace near Brussels. They wanted to furnish Laeken, built in the classical style by architect Charles de Wailly, in the latest Parisian style. A contemporary who visited the palace in 1786 was impressed by its extraordinary opulence: “There was an infinite number of excellent bronzes, as well as clocks of all types, elegant and splendid armchairs, firedogs… It is the most luxurious and the best furnished palace in the region”. There can be no doubt that the enthusiastic description of the 18th century connoisseur who was completely enchanted with the remarkable furnishings at Laeken corresponds perfectly to the present clock’s remarkable elegance and charm.

    Albert of Saxe-Teschen (1738-1822)

    The youngest son of Augustus III of Poland, the Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, he was raised in Dresden. In 1766 he married Archduchess Maria-Christina of Hapsburg-Lorraine (1742-1798), an older sister of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Through his marriage he came into a considerable fortune, which allowed him to amass a remarkable collection of art works, drawings and paintings, which he hoped “would serve a nobler cause than other collections and would flatter the eye while developing the mind”. Following the expert advice of Count Durazzo (1717-1794), the Austrian ambassador to Venice, the Duke began collecting at a frenetic pace, acquiring over the course of only two years more than thirty thousand pieces through his Italian emissary. After their Grand Tour of Italy in 1775-1776, the Duke and his wife arrived Paris in the mid 1780’s, using the pseudonyms “the Count and Countess de Bely”. Through Marie-Antoinette’s correspondence, we learn that during this trip they visited the shop of marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre.

    Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau (1749 - 1791)

    He was no doubt the principal and most talented representative of Parisian luxury horology during the decade preceding the French Revolution. After becoming a master on June 24, 1782, he opened a workshop in the rue Saint-Honoré; it became a great success with the important collectors of the period. The important Parisian marchands-merciers, especially François Darnault and Dominique Daguerre, commissioned him to produce clock movements for eminent and exacting collectors, which were masterpieces of elegance and perfection. Like all the finest clockmakers, Sotiau acquired his clock cases from the best and most skilful artisans, often working with the bronze casters Pierre-Philippe Thomire and François Rémond. The excellence of his work won him the coveted title of “Horloger de Monseigneur le Dauphin” (the dauphin being the elder son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette). His clocks are often mentioned in probate inventories and appeared in the sales of the collections of important contemporary personalities. Clocks made by Sotiau were owned by financiers such as the wealthy Court banker Jean-Joseph de Laborde, important members of the Clergy, such as François-Camille, Prince de Lorraine, and influential aristocrats such as Louis-Antoine-Auguste de Rohan-Chabot, Duc de Chabot; Charles-Just de Beauvau, Prince de Craon; and Albert-Paul de Mesmes, comte d’Avaux. In addition to his private clientele, Sotiau also produced magnificent clocks for the Prince Regent of England (the future King George IV), as well as for Mesdames de France (the aunts of Louis XVI), and for Queen Marie-Antoinette. Today Sotiau’s clocks may be found in the most important international collections, both public and private. Among these are the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, the Frick Collection in New York, the Huntington collection in San Marino and the Musée national du Château de Versailles, as well as the Royal British and Spanish Collections.



    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.



    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.



    In the same category
    Kinable  -  Dubuisson
    Dieudonné Kinable (active circa 1790-1810)
    Dubuisson (1731-1815)

    Exceptional Porcelain Lyre Mantel Clock from the Royal Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory

    APF_Pendule091_04

    Enamel Dial signed “Dubuisson

    Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1785-1790

    Height62 Width26 Depth16

    The round enamel dial, signed “Kinable”, indicates the hours in Roman numerals, the fifteen-minute intervals in Arabic numerals, the annual calendar and the signs of the Zodiac, by means of four hands, two of which are made of pierced gilt bronze, the two others in blued steel. The magnificent lyre-shaped case is made of “bleu nouveau” Sèvres porcelain and finely chased and gilt bronze. The bezel is made up of a gilt bronze twisted rope; the pendulum is adorned with brilliant-cut paste stones; the body of the lyre is adorned with gilt bronze beading and with laurel leaf and seed motifs, with two rosettes issuing floral and foliate swags. The clock is surmounted by a mask with radiating sunrays. The spreading foot is decorated with beading and twisted rope motifs and a leafy garland. The en-suite decorated oval base is raised upon four flattened ball feet.

    The Royal Sèvres Porcelain Factory produced the lyre clock model as of 1785. Four colours were offered: turquoise, green, pink and bleu nouveau. These exceptional clocks were made for the connoisseurs of the time. Louis XVI had a similar clock in his Salon des jeux in Versailles; its dial bore the signature of the clockmaker Courieult (this is almost certainly the example illustrated in P. Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1999, p. 41).

    Kinable, however, was the clockmaker who purchased the greatest number of lyre cases from the factory, and he developed the model in the late 18th century. Among the porcelain lyre clocks signed by this brilliant horologer, one example is in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (illustrated in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Band I, Munich, 1986, p. 252, fig. 4.6.26). A second such clock is in the Royal British Collection (see C. Jagger, Royal Clocks, The British Monarchy & its Timekeepers 1300-1900, 1983, p. 130, fig. 176).

    Dieudonné Kinable (active circa 1790 - 1810)

    Dieudonné Kinable is one of the most important Parisian clockmakers of the late 18th century. His shop was located at n° 131 Palais Royal. He purchased a great number of lyre-type porcelain clock cases from the Sèvres porcelain factory, acquiring twenty-one cases in different colours. He worked with the finest artisans of the time, among them the famous enamellers Joseph Coteau (1740-1801) and Etienne Gobin, known as Dubuisson (1731-1815), both of whom furnished him with dials. Several of his pieces are mentioned as belonging to the most important collectors of the Empire period, including the Duchesse of Fitz-James and André Masséna, Prince of Essling and Duke of Rivoli, a Napoleonic Marshall.



    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.



    In the same category
    Godon
    François-Louis Godon

    Rare Hard-Paste Paris Porcelain and Chased and Gilt Bronze Clock

    APF14_PENDULE064_005

    Paris, late Louis XVI period, circa 1785

    Height 47 cm; width 27 cm; depth 17.5 cm

    Height47 Width27 Depth17.5

    Provenance:

    – Collection of Monsieur Dubois Chefdebien; sale in Paris, Maître Catroux, February 13 and 14, 1941, lot 70 (illustrated).

     

    The enamel dial, indicating the hours, minutes and the date, bears the signature Godon à Paris. It is set in a footed vase of hard-paste Paris porcelain, with angular handles. Painted with delicate polychrome garlands, leaves and flowers, it rests on a stepped oval base and is surmounted by a finely chased gilt bronze flower bouquet. Its shaped gilt bronze base, mounted with an ormolu frieze, rests on four bun feet. Seated on either side of the vase on truncated columns painted to simulate fluting, two lightly draped putti brandish laurel wreaths and hunting horns.

    The present clock is of a rare type seldom seen in the late 18th century. The only example of its kind known to exist today, it was probably made to order for a connoisseur who wanted to possess a unique and one-of-a kind piece. The only other known clock comparable to the present one is modelled as a vase in Paris porcelain, surmounted by a gilt bronze floral bouquet and supported by a base with handles adorned with laurel-crowned female masks and terminating in pieds de biche. One such example is in the Cognacq-Jay museum in Paris; a second is in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (illustrated in Tardy, La pendule française, 2e partie: Du Louis XVI à nos jours, Paris, 1975, p. 279); a third, illustrated in P. Kjellberg’s Encyclopédie de la pendule française, Paris, 1997, p. 216, has a dial signed  Godon, like the present clock; he was no doubt the seller of both pieces.

    François-Louis Godon

    François-Louis Godon became a master clockmaker in Paris in February 1787, although he had begun working several years previously. Having gone into partnership as early as 1785 with his Parisian colleague Jean-Baptiste-André Furet, Godon is known for having been a trusted horological supplier to kings Charles III and Charles IV of Spain. In March 1786, having been named “Relojero de Camara” (Clockmaker to the King of Spain), he became the Parisian supplier of luxury porcelain pieces, clocks, and bronze furnishings to the Spanish Court. Today many of his clocks are in the Madrid Decorative Arts Museum and the Spanish Royal Collections.