Important pendulum in griotte red marble and finely chiseled and gilded bronze representing "Cupidon and Psyche" after the sculpture by Antonio Canova. *
The two figures leaning on a marble post hug tenderly; Psyche delicately holds the hand of cupid to offer him a present.
The two lovers are dressed in a simple veil which hides their nudities; they take on their respective attributes, angel wings for Cupid and butterfly wings for Psyche.
On the terminal an antique lamp and a sword symbolize the moment when the goddess seeks to discover the identity of her lover whom she must not know or risk losing him; but one night taking advantage of his sleep, she approaches it and discovers that the monster imagined by all is none other than love….
On the rectangular base, the arch and the two crowns, one of roses and the other of laurels, symbolize the love that touched the young couple.
At the top of the bollard, the finely guilloche bronze dial, surrounded by a garland of roses, presents the hours in Roman numerals.
Inside, the original suspension movement with silk thread is signed "Rieussec Hger du Roi" *
Bronze attributable to the company Thomire Duterme & Cie managed by Pierre Philippe Thomire (1751-1843).
Original mercury gilding of very high quality with double patina amate and shiny.
Parisian work of Louis XVIII period around 1817-1820
Height: 56 cm; width: 35 cm; Depth: 16cm
National Furniture Inventory No. GML 4464
Spanish Patrimonio Nacional (catologo de rejoles del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1987, P 240)
* Canova sculpture:
Our pendulum freely reinterprets a marble group by the sculptor Antonio Canova (Possagno 1757 - Venice 1822), preserved in the Louvre museum (Inventory No. MR 1776), slightly modifying the pose, in particular by adding wings to Psyche and covering the nudity of the characters.
The butterfly that Psyche holds in his hand is however absent on all known models.
This sculpture is an order made to the young sculptor then only thirty years old. The sponsor is a Scottish colonel, Sir John Campbell, whom he meets during a stay in Naples in 1787. It is this same colonel who also commands him the very famous group, Psyche revived by the kiss of Love, today at the Louvre. These two groups have been admired by many artists who visited Canova’s studio in Rome. Indeed, because of various problems in transporting them to England, the groups remained in Canova's workshop until the entry of French troops into Rome in 1798. It was there that Murat bought these works for the place in his castle of Villiers-la-Garenne, near Neuilly. We know that Canova during his first stay in Paris in 1802 went to see his two masterpieces where they had just been installed. The two groups went into the imperial collections and then to the Louvre museum.
Canova produced a second marble copy after the same plaster model as the Louvre. It is now in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. It had been acquired by Tsar Alexander I in 1815 with the collections of Josephine, Napoleon's first wife.
Rieussec Horloger du Roi:
The name of Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec (1781 - 1866) is inextricably associated with the invention of the chronograph. Rieussec became a watchmaker in 1802. He was only 21 years old. For years, he worked in his Parisian boutique on the Ile de la Cité, where he built a reputation as a good watchmaker. It earned him in 1810 to be listed among the 222 watchmakers in Paris in the Almanac du commerce.
His destiny accelerated when after the fall of Napoleon, Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec was appointed watchmaker to King Louis XVIII in 1817. He then became, in 1818 at his request, clockmaker to the royal furniture repository, government office responsible for managing the furniture and illustrations used to decorate royal residences.
Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec then timed a horse race on the Champ-de-Mars as he regularly organized at the time. It is not responsible for measuring the performance of the sole winner but takes charge of measuring the times of all participants. This is a great first which illustrates what sport timing will be afterwards. The work is extensive and would require, without the invention of Rieussec, a measuring device for each competitor. This time a single measuring instrument marks each result. . The work accomplished by Rieussec is received with a concert of praise. His talent becomes an international reference.
Our opinion :
The pendulum which we present is undeniably a royal order; the copy kept at Mobilier National allows us to better understand the order context for this model.
Indeed this pendulum comes from the Ministry of War, this building, the Hôtel de Brienne, former property of Letizia Bonaparte was bought by the state by decree of Louis XVIII in 1817.
The date coincides with the appointment of Rieussec as the King's watchmaker; which probably indicates a delivery for the redevelopment of this institution this year or the following year.
The other three known clocks of the model are all signed by the king's watchmakers, Rieussec or Jean-Joseph Robin (1781-1856).
It is therefore certain that these clocks were commissioned by King Louis XVIII for the furnishing of royal administrations and it is quite amusing to note that he decided to choose a model very close and of the same subject as that chosen by the Emperor Napoleon 1st.
Indeed if many clocks "Psyche and love" according to Claude Michallon adorned palaces and imperial institutions, the brother of Louis XVI who appreciated this taste did not want to stand out too much and simply chose the same subject but after Canova's sculpture.
As with the great majority of works in gilded bronze, the royal power turned to the greatest purveyor of the moment Pierre Philippe Thomire.
The pendulum which we present, of a particularly rare model reaches in our eyes the qualitative apogee of the sculpture in gilded bronze in France all confused times.
The period of the restoration corresponds to the maturity of the greatest artists born at the end of the old regime; who, using more elaborate tools and with an abundance of gold, achieve feats with incomparable carving and gilding sculptures.
Unfortunately the next generation, freed from corporate rules will no longer be able to match this level and gradually the quality which had only improved since the beginning of the 18th century will slowly decline.
Price : on request
Price : on request
Price : on request