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Thématiques: Skeleton Clock

  • Rare Gilt Bronze and Red Turquin Marble Skeleton Clock

    Pendule425-04_HD_WEB

    France, late Empire period, circa 1810-1815

    Height39.5

    The white enamel annular dial indicates the Arabic numeral hours and fifteen-minute intervals by means of two blued steel Breguet hands. The hour and half hour striking movement is housed in a gilt bronze case that is finely chased and matte gilt. The bezel is decorated with a frieze of stylized palmettes; the movement, with lateral gears that support the two weights and the pendulum, features two reed-decorated feet that terminate in lion’s paw feet, which emerge from curving leaves linked by a pierced motif made up of acanthus leaves, C-scrolls, flowers and rosettes. The quadrangular red turquin marble base with rounded sides is raised upon four molded feet that are decorated with bead friezes.

    During the final decade of the 18th century, the first models of skeleton clocks, whose sober composition featured a main annular dial that revealed the beauty of the movement and its gear trains, and whose complex mechanisms were made by the finest European clockmakers, most of whom were Parisian. The rise of this new style was due to the fact that admirers of fine horology were enthusiastic about the extraordinary technical progress made since the mid 18th century, as well as by the fact that collectors had become tired of clocks decorated with figures from classical mythology. The present clock was created within that historical context. Its remarkable composition is characteristic of the best French production of the 19th century.

    Among the small number of similar clocks known today, one example, made circa 1800, whose dial is signed “Lépine Horloger du Roy Place des Victoires”, has a round enamel dial and a white marble base (illustrated in P. Heuer and K. Maurice, European Pendulum Clocks, Decorative Instruments of Measuring Time, Edition Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Munich, 1988, p. 63, fig. 103); a second example of a skeleton clock from the Directoire period is in the collection of the Horological School in  Dreux (see Tardy, La pendule française dans le Monde, Paris, 1994, p. 239). One further example, similar to the present clock, which was made in 1817 and given to the Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers de Paris by J. Andeoud  in 1885, is illustrated in F.B. Royer-Collard, Skeleton Clocks, Edition N.A.G. Press Ltd, London, 1977, p. 80-81, fig. 5-17 (see also Le XIXe siècle français, Collection Connaissance des Arts, Hachette, 1957, p. 139).

    Ridel  -  Coteau
    Laurent Ridel
    Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)

    Exceptional Gilt Bronze, Enamel, and Carrara Marble Three-Dial Skeleton Clock with Complications and Matte and Burnished Finishing

    Pendule348-08_HD_WEB

    The Enamels by Joseph Coteau

    France, Directory period, circa 1795

    Height52 Width29 Depth15

    The main white enamel ring dial reveals a portion of the finely finished mechanism. It indicates the Arabic numeral hours, fifteen-minute intervals, and Republican date graduated from 1 to 30, by means of three hands, two of which are made of pierced and gilt bronze, and one of which is of blued steel. It also indicates the days of the week and their corresponding zodiac signs by means of a central hand. A second white enamel ring dial, set under the first, designates the months with their corresponding number of days; it is elaborately decorated with crossed torches, flowering branches, wheat sheaves and grape vines, symbolizing the four seasons. A third dial, placed in the upper portion of the clock, indicates the age and phases of the moon on two enamel discs, one of which is adorned with an oval medallion with a central altar. The eight-day going movement, with outer count wheel, two barrels, and knife-edge suspension, strikes the hours and half hours. The pendulum is adorned with a magnificent Apollo mask surrounded by sunrays.

    The three dials are fitted within a framework that is painted on enamel with a blue background, featuring gold, silver, and translucent highlights in the form of leaf scrolls and arabesques, and beadwork flowers. The façade features a central cartouche bearing the signature “Ridel à Paris”. The clock is elaborately embellished with chased and engine-turned gilt bronze mounts, including bead friezes and cord motifs. The four curved arches are set on tall, truncated columns with molded bases. The quadrangular white Carrara marble base is decorated with a delicate frieze of alternating round and elongated beads; its façade is adorned with a panel in the manner of Clodion, depicting putti. The clock is raised upon five toupie feet with engine turned decoration.

    The first skeleton clocks appeared during the final decade of the 18th century. These clocks featured an elegant, sober design, with a main ring dial that revealed the delicate and complex movement and its lovely and elaborate wheel trains. These movements were produced by the finest European clockmakers, including several Parisian horologists. The new esthetic trend was influenced on the one hand by clock collectors’ interest in the extraordinary technical progress that had taken place since the mid 18th century, and on the other hand by the increasing lack of demand for clocks adorned with Allegorical figures from classical mythology. The present clock was made within that particular context; its sophisticated design is on a par with that of the finest French clocks made during the final decade of the 18th century.

    Among the small number of comparable clocks, one example with four dials is in the Royal Spanish Collection (see J. Ramon Colon de Carvajal, Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio nacional, Madrid, 1987, p. 95, catalogue n° 78). A second clock, in a private collection, is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue La Révolution dans la mesure du Temps, Calendrier républicain heure décimale 1793-1805, Musée international d’Horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1989, p. 58, catalogue n° 19. A third clock, signed “Folin l’aîné à Paris”, is in the Getty Museum in Malibu (illustrated in G. Wilson and C. Hess, Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2001, p. 74, fig. 145). One further similar clock, whose dial is signed “Laguesse à Liège” with enamels by Joseph Coteau that are dated 1796, is in Pavlovsk Palace in Saint Petersburg (see E. Ducamp, Pavlovsk, Les Collections, 1993, p. 186, pl. 17). One final example, nearly identical to the present clock, which also bears the signature of Laurent Ridel, has enamels by Joseph Coteau that are dated 1796 and indicates the Republican date. It is in the François Duesberg Museum in Mons (see Musée François Duesberg, Arts décoratifs 1775-1825, Brussels, 2004, p. 103).

    Laurent Ridel

    Laurent Ridel, one of the most important Parisian clockmakers of the late 18th century and the early years of the 19th century, signed his works “Ridel à Paris”. Although the date at which he became a master is not known, we know he opened a workshop in the rue aux Ours and quickly became successful among Parisian collectors of luxury horology. Like all the finest clockmakers of the period, Ridel obtained his cases from the best artisans of the day, including the bronziers Feuchère, Denière and Deverberie, the enamelers Coteau and Merlet, and the spring maker Monginot l’aîné. He soon gained a wealthy and discerning clientele, among them Jean-Marie Chamboissier, the jeweler Louis-Nicolas Duchesne, and Mesdames de France – the daughters of Louis XV – for whom Ridel made a clock in 1789 that was intended for their palace in Bellevue.



    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).



    Isabel & Délas  -  Coteau
    Isabel et Délas
    Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)

    Rare Enamel, Gilt Bronze and White Carrara Marble Skeleton Clock

    Pendule190_04

    « Isabel & Délas »

    The Enamels Attributed to Joseph Coteau

    France, Directory period, circa 1795

    Height61 Width31.3 Depth14.8

    The main enamel ring dial, with a star-strewn blue enameled border, reveals a portion of the movement’s finely cut gears. It indicates the Roman numeral hours and the Arabic numeral minute graduations and revolutionary date, graduated from 1 to 30, by means of three hands, two made of pierced gilt bronze and the third of blued steel. A second white enamel dial, with a central blue enameled disc is set under the main dial; it indicates the days of the week, by means of a blued steel hand. A third dial, surmounting the other two, indicates the age and phases of the moon on two enamel discs. The two-barrel eight-day going movement, with outer count wheel and knife-edge suspension, strikes the hours and half hours on a bell. The pendulum is in the form of a magnificent Apollo mask with radiating sunrays.

    The three dials are set within a framework adorned with blue enamel decorated with gold ad silver motifs, including rosettes centered by green cabochons. A shaped cartouche bears the signature “Isabel & Délas à Rouen”. The clock is elaborately adorned with finely chased gilt bronze mounts and is surmounted by a flaming urn with handles that is adorned with an applied fleur de lys. The framework is decorated with knurled molding, seeded laurel branches, and two ribbon-tied olive branches. It rests on two arches that are set on square columns, whose capitals and bases have cutout corners, and are decorated with masks of Mercury. The clock rests on a quadrangular white marble base that is adorned with a beaded frieze and whose façade has a reserve with a frieze of alternating palmettes and stylized stems. The clock is raised upon four knurled and gadrooned toupie feet.

    Skeleton clocks first appeared during the last decade of the 18th century. This type of clock features a simple uncluttered design, with a main annular dial that reveals the beauty of the movement and its gear trains, and the complexity of the mechanisms. These were made by the finest clockmakers in Europe, most of whom worked in Paris. The new esthetic style grew partially out of clock lovers’ admiration for the extraordinary technical progress made during the 18th century, as well as from an increasing lack of interest in allegorical clocks depicting Greek and Roman mythological figures. The present clock, made within this context, features an elegant and luxurious design that typifies the best of the French decorative arts during the final decade of the 18th century.

    Among the small number of similar clocks known, one example with four dials is in the Royal Spanish Collections (see J. Ramon Colon de Carvajal, Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio nacional, Madrid, 1987, p. 95, catalogue n° 78). A second clock, with enamels by Joseph Coteau, is in the Musée François Duesberg in Mons (illustrated in Musée François Duesberg, Arts décoratifs 1775-1825, Brussels, 2004, p.103). A third clock, on display in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue La Révolution dans la mesure du Temps, Calendrier républicain heure décimale 1793-1805, Musée international d’Horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1989, p. 95. A fourth example, signed “Folin l’aîné à Paris”, is in the Getty Museum in Malibu (illustrated in G. Wilson and C. Hess, Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2001, p. 74, fig. 145). One further similar clock, whose dial is signed “Laguesse à Liège” and whose enamels by Joseph Coteau are dated 1796, is on display in the Pavlovsk Palace in Saint Petersburg (see E. Ducamp, Pavlovsk, Les Collections, 1993, p. 186, pl. 17).

    Isabel et Délas

    This signature probably refers to the partnership between Monsieur Isabel, a clockmaker who was active in Rouen during the late 18th century – who may be the same M. Isabelle who in 1802 exhibited a system for compensating for the effect of temperature variations on the rate of clocks – and of Jacques Délas, a clockmaker born in Rouen in 1752, whose marriage took place in that city forty years later (see Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers français, Paris, 1971, pp. 170 and 318).



    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).



    Ridel  -  Coteau
    Laurent Ridel
    Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)

    Rare Gilt Bronze, Enamel, and White Carrara Marble Skeleton Clock

    APF_Pendule148_07

    The Enamels Attributed to Joseph Coteau (1740-1801)

    Paris, Directory period, circa 1795

    Height53 Width28 Depth12

    The main white enamel chapter ring, revealing the intricately cut wheels of the mechanism, is graduated with the Arabic numeral hours, fifteen-minute intervals, and date, which are indicated by means of four hands, two made of pierced gilt brass and two of blued steel. A blued steel Breguet hand points to the days of the week and their corresponding Zodiac signs, along the outer edge. A third dial in the clock’s upper portion indicates the phases and age of the moon on an enameled disk, featuring a grisaille-painted moon against a starry blue sky. The main ring dial reveals the eight-day movement through its centre, with outer count wheel, two barrels, a pin pallet escapement, and knife-edge suspension. The hours and half hours are struck on a bell. The pendulum features a magnificent Apollo mask with radiating sunrays.

    The frame is painted on enamel with a dark blue ground, with swags of flowers and foliage, and features four oval medallions, two depicting doves and rose wreaths, and the other two decorated with scenes related to the theme of Cupid and Venus. A central cartouche bears the clockmaker’s name: Ridel à Paris”. The clock is elaborately adorned with finely chased gilt bronze mounts. Surmounting it, an eagle with spread wings, holding a thunderbolt in its claws, represents the god Jupiter. The frame is further decorated with cornucopias, fluting, beading, flower and leaf wreaths, and stylized rosettes and palmettes. The quadrangular white marble base is adorned with friezes; the one on the façade, after the sculptor Clodion, depicts putti among clouds. The clock is raised on four knurled gilt bronze toupie feet.

    Among the small number of known comparable clocks, one skeleton clock with enamels by Joseph Coteau is today in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (illustrated in Tardy, Les Plus Belles Pendules Françaises, 1994, p. 206, pl. XLII). A second clock, also signed “Ridel à Paris”, with enamels by Joseph Coteau that are dated 1796 and a similar Clodion-inspired frieze, is in the Musée François Duesberg in Mons (see Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle, 1997, p. 319, pl. B). A third clock is illustrated in Johann Willsberger, Clocks and Watches, 600 Years of the World’s Most Beautiful Timepieces, 1975. One further similar clock, whose dial is signed Laguesse à Liège and whose enamels, dated 1796, are by Joseph Coteau, is displayed in the Pavlovsk Palace in Saint Petersburg (E. Ducamp, Pavlovsk, Les Collections, 1993, p. 186, pl. 17).

    Laurent Ridel

    Laurent Ridel, one of the most important Parisian clockmakers of the late 18th century and the early years of the 19th century, signed his works “Ridel à Paris”. Although the date at which he became a master is not known, we know he opened a workshop in the rue aux Ours and quickly became successful among Parisian collectors of luxury horology. Like all the finest clockmakers of the period, Ridel obtained his cases from the best artisans of the day, including the bronziers Feuchère, Denière and Deverberie, the enamelers Coteau and Merlet, and the spring maker Monginot l’aîné. He soon gained a wealthy and discerning clientele, among them Jean-Marie Chamboissier, the jeweler Louis-Nicolas Duchesne, and Mesdames de France – the daughters of Louis XV – for whom Ridel made a clock in 1789 that was intended for their palace in Bellevue.



    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).



    Laurent
    Laurent

    Gilt Bronze, Enamel and Marble Skeleton Clock with Revolutionary Calendar

    Pendule336-07_HD_WEB

    Paris, Louis XVI period, circa 1793-94

    Height 41 cm, width 27 cm, depth 14 cm

    Height41 Width27 Depth14

    A late Louis XVI three-dialled gilt bronze-mounted enamel and white marble eight day going skeleton clock, signed Laurent à Paris on the arch below the main dial. The main white enamel ring dial, with gilt bronze beaded bezel, has black Arabic numerals for the hours and minutes, outer red Arabic numerals for the date, and the Revolutionary days of the week painted in red enamel along the inside edge; fine pierced gilt brass hands for the hours and minutes and plain blued steel pointers for the seconds and the date. The skeletonised movement, visible through the cutout portion of the dial, has a small Graham escapement, knife-edge suspension, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel. Above the main dial, a subsidiary dial indicates the moon phases and age, with a finely painted on enamel moon against a starry blue sky and a sector numbered from 1 to 29 ½ in blue for the days of the lunar month. Below the blue enamel arch, a white enamel subsidiary ring dial indicates the months of the Gregorian calendar in black and the Revolutionary calendar in red. The arched frame, with star-studded blue enamel decorative plaques, rests on four flattened bun feet; the rectangular white marble base is adorned with gilt bronze beading and a pierced leaf and berry frieze on all four sides. The whole reposes on four toupie feet.

    Similar skeleton clocks are illustrated in Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle, 1997, p. 319, pl. C and G. A comparable clock, with Revolutionary calendar, is in the Carnavalet Museum in Paris; another similar model, signed “Ridel à Paris”, is in the François Duesberg Museum in Mons, Belgium.

    Skeletonised clocks, in which the movement is showcased rather than being hidden, came into fashion toward the end of Louis XVI’s reign. Several explanations may be advanced for this: first, the technical advances made during the 18th century, which incited clockmakers to put their movements on display and made the public curious to discover them; and secondly, the preference for less massive, more delicate, clock cases, in marked contrast to the Louis XV and early Louis XVI styles. The ethereal appearance of these clocks was heightened by the use of painted polychrome enamel plaques instead of chased bronze work to decorate the clocks.

    Laurent

    Laurent was a clockmaker active in the late 18th century.



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