An important Directoire Period gilt bronze and white Carrara marble mantel clock of fourteen day duration almost certainly made under the supervision and retailed by the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, with a movement by Claude Mathieu also known as l’Ainé (1722-vers 1815) received Master in 1754, signed on the white enamel dial Mathieu l’Ainé à Paris, the finely painted dial attributed to the celebrated enamellist Joseph Coteau, with black Arabic numerals for the hours and iner red Arabic numerals for the 31 days of the month, by three blued steel and pierced gilt bronze hands. 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 bronze case attributed to François Rémond after figural models by Louis-Simon Boizot, surmounted by an eagle with a thunderbolt striking from under its claws, the dial supported on a gilded pedestal mounted by a bas-relief in the manner of Clodion depicting two putti with a dove. The scene flanked by oak leaves and on either side by two seated patinated bronze classical figures symbolizing Learning and Philosophy, the young man to the left writing on a tablet with a stylus and the young woman to the right reading a book. The whole on a rectangular white marble base with rounded ends ornamented with a central gilded frieze depicting a bearded male mask bordered by putti and foliate scrolls, and round medallions centred by masks, supported on nine toupie feet
Paris, date circa 1795
Height 54 cm, width 70 cm, depth 15 cm.
The design for this superb clock case is based on a drawing of circa 1784-85 by the celebrated ciseleur-doreur François Rémond (1747-1812) while the two seated figures derive from models by the sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809) of L’Etude and La Philosophie which were created in biscuit porcelain for the Sèvres Royal Porcelain Manufactory. The clock was almost certainly made under the supervision and retailed by the renowned marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre (d. 1796) who requested that Rémond depict the male and female figures leaning against the central plinth that contained the movement and for the dial to be surmounted by an eagle. Daguerre and Rémond’s correspondence simply refer to the design as L’Etude. One of the first examples was made in 1784 and in 1788 two examples were supplied to Louis XVI for the Salon des Jeux at Château de Saint-Cloud.
Versions of this clock can be found in important collections including at least three in the British Royal Collection, another at Château de Versailles (illustrated in situ in Ottomeyer and Pröschel, op.cit. p. 568, pl. 6). Other examples are owned by the Hermitage Museum at Saint Petersburg, Musée de l’Ile-de-France, Château de Sceaux, the Banque de France, the Quirinal Palace, Rome and at Stockholm Castle. The model enjoyed a revival during the Empire period when Napoleon commissioned a number as gifts for his maréchals.
The movement was made by the eminent clockmaker Claude Mathieu.
Claude Mathieu was born at Troyes and is known as l'Ainé to distinguish him from his younger brother Edme, known as Mathieu le Jeune (d. after 1806) who also worked as a clockmaker. They were the sons of Claude, who worked as a gardener and Jeanne Mathieu née Douine. Mathieu l'Ainé, who married Jeanne-Marguerite Philipart and subsequently Anne Bogotte, initially worked as a compagnon in Paris in 1743. Just over a decade later, on 31st July 1754, he was received as a Parisian maître horloger by a decree of 25th June that year exempting him from lack of apprenticeship. By 1754 he was established at rue Neuve des Capucines but by 1757 he was working from rue Saint-Honoré opposite the Hôtel de Noailles. Such was his standing that he was made a member of the jury presiding over the matters of the new time system in 1793. His business was carried on by his son-in-law B. L. Petit. Like his brother, Claude Mathieu used clock cases by P. Delacroix in addition to M. Poisson as well as watch cases by J. de La Feuille and counted among his distinguished clientele the comte de La Marck.
3 500 €
60 000 €
35 000 €