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Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720
Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720 - Horology Style Louis XIV Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720 - Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720 - Louis XIV Antiquités - Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720
Ref : 110984
32 500 €
Period :
18th century
Provenance :
Medium :
Tortoise shell, brass, ormolu
Dimensions :
l. 16.93 inch X H. 46.06 inch
Horology  - Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720 18th century - Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720 Louis XIV - Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720 Antiquités - Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720
Franck Baptiste Paris

16th to 19th century furniture and works of art

+33 (0)6 45 88 53 58
Cartel doll head by Cressent, Paris circa 1710-1720

Cartel doll's head by C.Cressent, Paris around 1710-1720.

Rare cartel of sconce in marquetry Boulle of brass threads on a background of brown scales.

Model in the form of a "doll's head", with a shape violined and a circular upper resting on a
Wall bracket with concave moat. The entire surface is plated with brown scales and inlaid
with brass threads alternating decoration with floral scrolls and Bérain-style décor.
The case is luxuriously embellished with finely crafted, chiselled and gilded bronzes,
including four busts of women in "espagnolettes" ending in "C" joined together making foot
offices, a central bas-relief on the door depicting Danae receiving Zeus in the form of an
eagle transforming into a shower of gold, masks of mercury with intersecting caduceus, a
cherub on a lattice dome openwork or ingots with grodroned friezes and Corner protectors.
The console is also encircled by a frieze mould The corners are protected by four powerful
buds rams while the lower part is terminated by a large acanthus cap. The façade opens via
a glass door that gives a glimpse of a Twelve-plate dial in white enamel with numerals
Roman paintings in blue, on a finely engraved brass background, with the Minute figures on
the borders and scrolls on the Bérain with chimeras and squirrels in the central part.
Two blued steel hands indicate the hours and minutes.
The original silk thread suspension movement is signed on the "Ducoroy Paris" plaque on
the reverse*.
It strikes the hours and minutes as it passes, and the quarters and On-demand hours.
Very good state of preservation.
Work attributed to Charles Cressent*, Paris at the end of the Louis period XIV, beginning of
the regency around 1710-1720.
Total height: 117 cm Case: Height: 74 cm; Width: 38 cm Console : Height : 28 cm , Width :
43 cm.
Similar models:
With a ram's head console:
- “Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris” (inv. 3889)
- Christie's London sale on 5 July 1979, lot 27.
- Sale Briscadieux Bordeaux, 26/11/2016, lot 32
Resting on a plinth:
- Palais de Fontainebleau, movement signed "Le Roy".
- Palace of Versailles, movement signed "Guiot in Paris"
- Alexis Pradère« Charles Cressent, sculptor, cabinetmaker of the Regent", published
by Faton; Model Catalogue Raisonné Page 302
Our opinion:

Like many pieces dating from the Louis XIV era and the Regency, our cartel would have
remained anonymous if a trial seizure report made in Charles Cressent's studio had not
reached us. Indeed, following a legal action by the corporation of founders-chiselers who
reproached the famous cabinetmaker for transgress the rules and melt his own bronzes, his
The workshop was raided in 1722. The precise inventory of the bronzes seized allows us to
to attribute to him two very rare models, including our example. The majority of the bronzes
in our label are indeed described and In this list we can find:
- The feet in espagnolettes under N° 4: "plus three others testes of women serving at
the feet of pendulums, wearing palmettes and decorated with leaves in consoles".
- The lamp end of the console under N° 20: "Plus two asses of foliage pendulum
lamps" .
- The putti of the dome under N°27: "Only two little children Tap each one on a dome...
which children are intended to put on two pendulums".
- The bas-relief of Danaë under N°28: "Plus two doors of pendulums at the bottom of
which are welded and adjusted two female figures representing Danaë".
- The valance behind Danaë under N°34 "Only two pieces of drapery used for the
figure of Clitice" (probably also used on another model).
- The mercury heads under N°45 "Plus two Mercury ».
Other elements such as the "sphinxes leaning on a shell" (N°54) or "the figure of Leda"
(N°43) allow us to also to attribute to it the cartel model retained in the Metropolitan Museum
of New York (Inv No. 61.69), model of which a copy on a sheath has just been put on sale
recently (Sothebys 28 February 2024, lot 139; €330,200).
Despite these precise descriptions, there was still some doubt about the attribution of our
model to Cressent because the low-quality or heavily modified bronzes are formerly held at
public auction. Like doll's head clocks, it is possible that this type of primitive cartel has often
suffered the ravages of time. It is also possible that the model was taken up later by copiers
as was the case at the time. Finally, we see a third possibility, the resale of a few crates from
Joseph Poitou's workshop that Charles Cressent took over in 1719. Due to the rarity of
Boulle marquetry in the work of Cressent and dating of these two cartels, it is strong Poitou,
who was a specialist in the marquetry of the author and inventor of these two models, in
collaboration with the young master sculptor Charles Cressent who was working in his studio
at the time.
Our piece whose bronzes are precisely described in Cressent's inventory has the same
qualities the cartel preserved in New York. In addition, it features a movement by Pierre
Ducoroy, a watchmaker cited in the book (page 197) as a collaborator of Cressent. The
presence of the movement of this watchmaker who died in 1705 tells us also points towards
a collaboration between Joseph Poitou and Charles Crack for our cartel, because so often
there are a few years between the manufacture of the movement, its sale, its use by the
cabinetmaker and marketing of the box, that would take us back to the next few years as
much as possible. The "doll's head" circular shape of our cartel is still very much typical of
Louis XIV, while the more violinated one of the examples with the Sphinxes is already
tempered by the Regency style, which indicates that the production was probably a little
earlier for our version. All of these elements allow us to attribute definitively this model to
Charles Cressent, maybe in collaboration with the Regent's cabinetmaker Joseph Poitou for
the box. By its chasing qualities and the finesse of its marquetry, by The homogeneity of its

monks and its movement We can safely say that our copy represents at least Today is the
most beautiful known version of this model.

Franck Baptiste Paris


Cartel clock Louis XIV