An important Louis XV gilt bronze cartel clock signed on the white enamel dial Baltazar à Paris, housed in a magnificent ormolu case. The white enamel dial with Roman and Arabic numerals and a very fine pair of pierced gilt brass hands for the hours and minutes. The movement with anchor escapement, spring driven silk thread suspension, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel.
The gilt bronze case of rocaille outline surmounted by a urn vase with leafy festoons surrounding the dial, with a glazed pendulum aperture beneath the dial and pierced sound frets to the side, it is a typically Transition model, belonging to that decade after 1770 in which the stylistic canons pass from the Louis XV style to the Louis XVI style. This case model can be traced back to those designed by Pierre-Antoine Foullet, whose designs are kept at the Bibliothèque Doucet in Paris.
Henri-Charles Baltazar, or Baltazar à Paris, as it was signed, was one of the most famous members of a large family of clockmakers and a leading Parisian maker during the Louis XV and early Louis XVI periods. The son of Henry, his brothers Antoine, Denis, Noël, Jean-Chrysostome and Joseph were also fine makers as was his own son, Louis-Charles (maître 1768). Having become a maître-horloger in 1717, Charles soon established great repute and gained the title of Horloger de Mesdames Filles de France. His impressive list of clients included the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, as well as the Russian Ambassador, the comte d’Armentières, the marquis de Saint-Georges and Monsieur Castel. By 1733 he was established at Place Dauphine, four years later at the Cloister de Saint-Germain de l’Auxerrois. By 1747 he was working in rue du Roule where he continued until at least 1772 at which date he received the Freedom of the City. He made watches as well as cartels, mantel and longcase clocks. As fitting a clockmaker of his standing his cases were made by the finest makers of the day. In addition to Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain gilt and patinated cases were made by Edme Roy, Jacques Dumont and Jean-Louis Beaucour. Balthazar Lieutaud, Jean Goyer and Antoine Foullet were among leading ébénistes to supply him and in turn Balthazar supplied movements to the ébénistes Jean-François Oeben and Jacques Dubois. Today one can admire his work in the Musée de Château de Champs and the Museum für Künsthandwerk in Dresden.
Such imposing models were intended only for a clientele of the highest rank.
An identical model belonged to the Savoy family and is kept in the Savoy Gallery in Turin.
The watch is in perfect condition. The gilding is authentic and beautifully preserved. The movement are original and complete.
Height cm 94
Width cm 42
Depth cm 13
Dial diameter cm 25
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6 300 €