Rare small cartel in brown tortoiseshell marquetry and inlaid with brass fillets.
The violin-shaped case is fitted by a dovetail slide into its original lamp base.
The set presents a rich ornamentation of gilded bronzes with mercury including falls in acanthus scrolls, gadrooned ingots, a crowned king's head, as well as a base with seeds.
The front opens through a glass door and reveals an engraved brass dial decorated with thirteen enamel pieces, twelve for the hours and one forming a cartridge with the name of the watchmaker: Thuret.
Two blue steel hands indicate the hours and minutes.
The back plate is signed "Thuret à Paris".
Original movement, modified suspension.
Ringing on demand by pulling.
Very good condition, oak back.
Paris late Louis the XIVth period, circa 1710-1715.
Height : 41 cm ; Width : 20 cm.
A similar cartel, also signed Thuret, but with a variant on the upper bronze, is illustrated in P. Kjellberg’s Encyclopedia of the french clock from the Medieval ages to the XXth century (Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Les Editions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1997, p.56, fig. A).
Our opinion :
Our luxurious little alcove cartel still displays an archaic "doll's head" shape that corresponds to the very first clock designs made at the end of the reign of Louis the XIVth.
The form is largely inspired by the drawings of the ornaments designer Daniel Marot (1761-1752) and is close to the productions of André Charles Boulle.
A cartel of similar shape, attributable to Boulle and signed "Thuret", but flanked by two bronze roosters, is extremely close to our cartel and it is very likely that the simplified version we present is also from the workshop of the great master.
Our hypothesis is all the more plausible since the two craftsmen, Boulle and Thuret, both had the royal privilege of being housed in the Louvre galleries, which made them neighbors.
Many of André Charles Boulle's creations include movements signed "Thuret".
*Jacques Thuret (1669-1738) was an ordinary watchmaker to the king. On August the 22nd, 1694, he received permission to live in the Grand Gallery after the death of his father Issac Thuret (1630-1706), who had been a watchmaker in the household of King Louis the XIVth since 1684, watchmaker at the Paris Observatory and the Academy of Sciences.
The latter was selected by the court to make Huygens' pendulum clocks. He made his coil spring for him, but presented this invention as his own. Huygens became angry and Thuret had to apologize in a letter dated September 10th, 1675.
In December 1703, his son Jacques married Louise Marguerite Bérain, daughter and sister of the king's draftsmen Jean Bérain. They will have only one daughter, Louise Bonne, married to the president Handiqué.
Jean Racine, at the time of his death, owned a clock by the clockmakers Thuret.
Other important clocks signed "Thuret" are kept in public collections :
- Clock circa 1670 signed Thuret, Science Museum, London.
- The two octagonal astronomical dials in ebony and gilded copper (1680-1681) of the department of maps and plans of the National Library of France, of which there is another pair in Denmark.
- A clock on a girdle around 1690 signed Jacques Thuret, furniture by Boulle, drawing by Jean Bérain, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.