Rare finely chiseled and gilded bronze pendulum.
Model representing a frigate sailing in the middle of the waves.
The boat is loaded with valuable merchandise, including barrels, chests, bundles and other burlap bags overflowing with commodities.
From the deck of the ship, a cherub leans over and pulls on a rope that plunges into the depths.
Above, standing on the stern, a young goddess wears a medallion bearing the effigy of King Louis XVI * as well as a scroll of parchment on which can be read "I sail at the mercy of fortune and protected from the neptune god"
She wears the winged sandals of Mercury, the patron god of commerce and travelers.
In front of her, a privateer standing on a barrel holds his letter of the race * in the palm of his hand.
The stern of the boat has a shield under a crown with the arms of France while the masts are finished with fleur-de-lis.
In the center of the scene, the white enamelled dial indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals.
It is signed "Poitevin à Lorient" *.
The original silk-thread suspension movement strikes the hours and a half, it is dated 1774 on the springs.
Perfect condition, very beautiful original mercury gilding.
Perfect working order, revised by our watchmaker.
Parisian work of the transition of the Louis XV and Louis XVI eras around 1775.
Height: 50 cm; Width: 38 cm; Depth: 20cm
Nota Bene :
* The medallion of our pendulum represents King Louis XVI in profile bust, after an engraving by Pierre-Simon-Benjamin Duvivier (1730-1819) which we find on the shield called “olive branches” struck in France between 1774 and 1790.
Duvivier became general engraver of coins in 1774, replacing Joseph Charles Rottiers.
* A privateer is a person authorized by a "letter of the race" to attack in time of war, any ship flying the flag of enemy states, and particularly its merchant traffic, leaving the war fleet to attack the objectives. military. Privateers should therefore not be confused with pirates since they exercise their activity according to the laws of war, only in time of war and with the authorization of their government. Captured, they are entitled to the status of prisoner of war.
* "Poitevin à Lorient" is the signature of a watchmaker specializing in the luxury watchmaking trade, he was active in Lorient between 1765 and 1780.
The archives allow us to know that he collaborated in particular with the Parisian merchant and watchmaker Noël Heroy, who supplied him with movements and precious clocks.
His signature is found only on high quality productions, a horse clock decorated with Rhine stone (rhinestones) is for example published in the book of
Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus, Munich, 1986, Band I, p.180, fig.3.7.7
Our opinion :
The maritime trade allegory clock is a rare model that has always questioned art historians.
In fact, the majority of clocks that have come down to us have significant gaps, especially in the medallion, so that it was impossible to know whether this clock commemorated the death of King Louis XV or the advent of the young King Louis XVI.
The perfect state of conservation of our pendulum allows us to answer this question, the date of manufacture of the springs (1774) still a little earlier than the final realization and the original medallion allow us to affirm that our pendulum was marketed in l honor of King Louis XVI in 1775.
The presence of the privateer makes sense, because 1775 marks the beginning of the American War of Independence and the establishment of a French alliance with the rebel colonists in order to take revenge on England which has just won the war. of seven years. (1754-1763)
During this naval conflict, the racing war will be in full swing and many privateers from the Channel ports will stand out, St Malo for example will be nicknamed the privateer city.
We can better understand why the model met with great success and was marketed by the watchmaker Poitevin in Lorient.
The port which shelters the seat of the powerful East India Company is known to be a true crossroads of the maritime trade or cross the richest shipowners.
Our clock, found in Belgium, was probably ceded by Poitevin to one of the rich foreign merchants who swarmed in the city.
Its exportation saved it from the throes of the revolution, which allows us to contemplate it today in its perfect original state, with all the attributes of the French monarchy.
Much more than a simple decorative object, our pendulum is a rare testimony of French maritime trade under the Ancien Régime.
Price : on request
Price : on request