Rare and fine small desk clock in chased and gilded bronze.
Sometimes entitled "War and Peace" or "Love triumphing over War", our clock represents two children with a brown patina, one wearing the helmet, spear, and shield of Minerva, symbolizing the attributes of war, and the other, the bow and arrow of Cupid, symbolizing love.
Above them, on a capital, a couple of turtledoves frolic in the clouds.
Below the enameled dial with Roman numerals for the hours, and Arabic numerals for the minutes is signed Gilles l'ainé in Paris.
The rectangular base is decorated with a frieze of stripes of hearts and a quiver crossed by a torch.
It rests on the four feet of the lion of Nemea whose remains are intertwined in rings fixed to the base.
Movement, suspension, gilding, and original patina.
Perfect state of conservation.
Parisian work of Louis the XVth period, around 1765.
Height: 30 cm ; Width: 22 cm.
An identical clock with a movement by Gilles the elder, the bronze signed " Vion ", was formerly in our collection.
A similar model was sold on March 30th, 2009 in Paris, Villanfray sale, lot 167 (sold for 7500 euros at the hammer).
Our clock is not a period overmolding like many models, it has great qualities of gilding and chasing, indicating it was manufactured by François Vion himself.
The movement is signed by the great watchmaker Gilles the elder.
From 1765, this signature corresponds to the Parisian watchmaker Pierre II Gille. After his accession to the master's degree as the son of a master on November 18th, 1746, he set up his workshop in rue Saint-Martin, rue Saint-Denis and rue aux Ours. At the beginning of his career, he worked with his father, then directed his own workshop and immediately met with immense success with the great collectors. Among his clients were the Marquis de Brunoy, Prince Charles of Lorraine, the powerful farmer-general Perrinet de Jars, and the Duke of Gramont.
The Jacques Doucet Library of Art and Archaeology in Paris holds a book of clock drawings that probably belonged to the clock dealer Antoine Foullet.
The drawing of our clock appears there with the mention "Vion", a Parisian bronze maker active between 1760 and 1800.
It is described as follows: "Piece of Office, Altar to love & to Mars."
We also know the price at which it was sold: "in Color L 176; gilding 77; Gilded price 253".
These indications show that it is a model of quality, so much so that its total price of 253 pounds is high.
From this clock derives another successful model, using the same draped base, known as "Le Retour de l'Amour" or "La Douleur" or "La Pleureuse".
The Count of Artois had a copy in his bedroom at the Palais du Temple. (Sotheby’s sale, 29th of November 2007, in Paris, lot 60 : 31200 euros.)
Another one was part of Marie-Antoinette's collection (Louvre Museum).
Other specimens are still present in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, the Petit Trianon, and the Carnavalet Museum.
François Vion is also the author of the Trois Grâces clock, with a movement by Lepaute, delivered to Madame Du Barry on May 21st, 1774 by the merchant-merchant Poirier and now kept in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
All these elements allow us to affirm that our clock is one of the first models produced by the master in person, and for a prestigious patron.
In our opinion, it is an extremely rare collector's item on the market.
9 500 €
9 500 €
12 500 €