The Movement by Jean-Louis BOUCHET and the case by Adrien-Jérôme JOLLAIN
A fine Louis XV gilt bronze mounted tulipwood and amaranth longcase regulator with movement by Jean-Louis Bouchet and case by Adrien-Jérôme Jollain, signed on the main white enamel dial signed Bouchet AP with Roman and Arabic numerals and outer calendar ring with the names of the month and numbers of days enclosed by a beautiful polychrome painted ring portraying the corresponding signs of the zodiac, with a very fine pair of pierced gilt brass hands for the hours and minutes and pair of blued steel pointers for the calendar indications, the main dial above two smaller subsidiary dials, the one to the left showing universal time with calendar and the one to the right the phases of the moon and sun, the striking movement sounding on the quarters on two bells and on the hours on a single bell.
The superb serpentine violin-shaped case stamped twice on the back S J JOLLAIN with an arched top with a pierced gilt bronze foliate border above a spreading bulbous body again with elaborate foliate scrolled gilt bronze mounts at the edges and borders with ribbon-tied laurels bordering the shaped glazed pendulum aperture, the central section with a hinged door, resting on a squared base with bracket feet and shaped apron
Literature: Pierre Kjellberg, "Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle", 1998, p. 445, illustrating a comparable Louis XV gilt bronze mounted violin-shaped tulipwood longcase regulator by Adrien-Jérôme Jollain.
Like many works by Jean-Louis BOUCHET (1737-92), this multi dial regulator boasts a complex movement. Bouchet, who was appointed Horloger du Roi by virtue of supplying the Garde-Meuble was renowned for the complexity and finesse of his clocks and was one of the first to create skeleton clocks. He supplied a number of complex pieces to Louis XV one of which with astronomical indications was described as a 'clock composed of different round movements in a crystal case, so that the different springs can be seen.' It was delivered in 1776 to Château de Bellevue, where Bouchet was given the responsibility for maintaining all the clocks in the royal collection. In 1768 he supplied miniaturized movements with astronomical indications for an ivory clock that had been turned by M. de Fontanieu for the King. Bouchet is also known to have made another clock with six dials and three turning circles between 1779 and 81. In addition he created classical pieces of which four were supplied to the Garde-Meuble.
The Bellevue castle for which Bouchet worked is an 18th century castle which was built for Madame de Pompadour in Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine), on the edges of the plateau overlooking the Seine.
The Chateau de Meudon, where Bouchet was the clockmaker, was occupied by Madame de Pompadour (Paris, December 29, 1721 - Versailles, April 15, 1764), then from 1745 Marquise de Pompadour.
She was one of King Louis XV's most famous mistresses.
She was very fond of pendulums and regulators and liked to be painted alongside them.
It is not unlikely that this clock belonged to Madame de Pompadour.
Meudon was at the time the center of watchmaking and cartography and the indications on the dial of the astro-cartographic data displayed on the regulator apply here.
The calculation carried out by the clock restorer Bernard Meier shows that the indications on the dial such as world time, true solar time and the time of sunrise and sunset, apply only and exactly for the castle of Meudon. .
His work can be admired at the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg and the Archives Nationales, Paris. Having worked as a compagnon to Pierre Gille l'Aîné and Antoine-Charles Caron, Bouchet was received as a maître-horloger in 1762. Four years later he was established at rue Saint-Denis, by 1772 at rue Montmartre and by 1778 at rue Bourg l'Abbé. He then moved again and in 1781 was at rue Meslée, two years later at rue Saint-Martin and then in 1789 at rue Salle-au-Comte. In addition to Jollain, Bouchet used cases by other fine makers such as Philippe Caffiéri, the Osmonds, Balthazar Lieutaud, J-N. Clavelle and Jean Hauré; in addition his dials were supplied by Joseph Coteau and Edme-Portail Barbichon and his springs by Trabant.
The present case was created by Adrien-Jérôme JOLLAIN (maître 1763 d. 1788), who was established at the cloister Saint-Jean-de-Latran. He came from a family of horlogers but served his apprenticeship as an ébéniste and was received as a maître in 1763 and thereafter specialised in making clock cases. A cartel case by him decorated with comparable bronze mounts from the Frederick P. Victoria's Collection was sold by Christie's New York May 27th 1999, lot 65. Two comparable regulators to the present work are also known. The first with pictorial marquetry but a later 19th century movement was sold by Christie's London, December 16th 1999, lot 22. The second with floral marquetry was sold by Drouot Montaigne, studio Kohn, Paris, March 23rd 1998, lot 34.
Price : on request