A fine Empire gilt and patinated bronze and rouge griotte marble Pendule à L’Égyptienne of eight day duration, signed on the white enamel dial Foy à Paris, with Roman numerals and a pair of fine blued steel hands for the hours and minutes. The movement with anchor escapement, silk thread suspension, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel. The magnificent case attributed to André-Antoine Ravrio with the clock drum cast with drapery resembling an unveiled casket held in the hands of the goddess Isis who stands in a niche flanked by red marble pilasters with mount showing Egyptian symbols and hieroglyphs, above a demi-lune base.
Paris, date circa 1805-10
This magnificent clock was based upon a design by Thomas Hope (1769-1831), which he illustrated in his publication “Household Furniture and Interior Decoration”, 1807, plate 13. After his travels throughout the Middle East, Hope returned to his London residence in Duchess Street, 1799 where his clock stood amongst his collection of antiquities and antiques. Hope’s clock, which was probably manufactured in Paris, can now be viewed at Buscot Park, Faringdon, Oxfordshire. Another similar example can be found at Brighton Pavilion in the Ante Room of the King’s apartments.
The case, which was made in Paris, can be attributed to the renowned French bronzier André-Antoine Ravrio (1759-1814), based on its close similarity with other models by or attributed to him. Ravrio was a highly successful businessman and an exceptionally gifted artist and designer. Having attended the Académie, he trained as a fondeur under his father André and on Pierre-Philippe Thomire’s recommendation was introduced to the comte d’Artois, 1774. Three years later he was received as a maître-fondeur and afterwards joined J-B Disnematin-Dorat, a Parisian doreur-argenteur, whose business he succeeded. Though Ravrio enjoyed success during Louis XVI’s reign, he achieved far greater fame under Napoleon who appointed him his chief bronzier and for whom he supplied numerous bronzes for his Imperial palaces including the Tuileries, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud, Versailles, Compiègne and Rambouillet. Ravrio also worked for the Quirinal in Rome, Monte-Cavallo, for Stupinigi near Turin, King Ludwig of Holland and other notable figures.
Isis was one the more important mythological Egyptian goddesses. Wife of Osiris and mother of Horus she was worshipped as the archetypal wife and mother.
Sylvie Chadenet “Les Styles Empire & Restauration”, 1976, p. 25, pl. 2, illustrating bedroom furniture and furnishings including a clock of similar design to the present work which were used and owned by Madame Loetitia, mother of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 336, pl. 5.3.2.
Musée du Louvre, Paris, exhibition catalogue: “Egyptomania, L’Egypte dans l’art occidental 1730-1790”, 20th January-18th April 1994, p.193, illustrating a similar clock.
Jean-Dominique Augarde, “Les Ouvriers du Temps”, 1996, p. 358, pl. 265.
Pierre Kjellberg, “Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle”, 1997, p. 380, pl. A.
Elke Niehüser, “Die Französische Bronzeuhr”, 1997, p. 229, pl. 646.
Price : on request