Offered by Richard Redding Antiques
Leading antique and fine art gallery, specialises in the finest French clocks.
An important and extremely fine quality Louis XV gilt bronze cartel clock of month duration by the esteemed clockmaker Jean-Baptiste II Dutertre housed in a wonderful case attributed to the eminent bronzier Robert Osmond, signed on the white enamel dial J·B·Du·Tertre à Paris and similarly signed on the movement. The dial with outer Arabic numerals and inner Roman numerals and a very fine pair of pierced gilt brass hands for the hours and minutes. The massive squared movement with anchor escapement, silk thread suspension, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel. The gilt bronze case of foliate cartouche outline surmounted by overlapping foliate scrolls and a central ribbon-tied bow, the sides with foliate scrolls and flowers, with a glazed pendulum aperture beneath the dial centred by a foliate cartouche terminal
Height 95 cm, width 60 cm.
Paris, date circa 1755-60
Literature: Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 542, pl. 2, illustrating an identical case by Robert Osmond of 1755-60 with movement by Jean-Baptiste II Dutertre and p. 184, pl. 3.8.8, showing a sheet of designs, formerly in the Bibliothèque Doucet, Paris and now in the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, for four cartel clock cases numbered 36-39, three by Pierre-Antoine Foullet and one by Robert Osmond of circa 1770, of which no. 38 by Foullet bears a close similarity to the present model.
The attribution of this magnificent case to eminent bronzier Robert Osmond (1711-89) is based on its comparison with an identical example bearing his stamp (as illustrated in Ottomeyer and Pröschel, op. cit, p. 542). Near identical cartel cases can also be cited including one with a movement by Julien Leroy à Paris, formerly belonging to Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, from the Villa Demidoff, Florence sale, 21-24th April 1969, lot 219 as well as another signed on the dial Moisy à Paris, now in the Musée du Louvre which was bequeathed in 1911 by Count Isaac de Camondo (illustrated in D. Alcouffe, A. Dion-Tenebaum and G. Mabille, “Les bronzes d’Ameublement du Musée du Louvre”, 2004, p. 84, no. 36).
Robert Osmond was one of the most successful fondeur-ciseleurs of his day, working as adeptly in both the Louis XV and Louis XVI styles, though he rejected extreme forms of both. Valued by present connoisseurs, as much as in his day, his bronzes were widely distributed by clockmakers and the marchands-merciers. Though Osmond is known to have produced a wide range of furnishings objects, the only extant works are clock cases. Osmond appears to have made cartel cases one of his specialities, though he also produced a fine series of Neo-classical column clocks as well as others shaped as vases with lions’ heads. He was born in Canisy, near Saint-Lô and having entered his apprenticeship at a late stage he became a maître in 1746; from 1764 until 1775 he worked in
association with his nephew Jean-Baptiste Osmond (b.1742 d. after 1790, maître 1764). Robert Osmond’s work can be found among the world’s finest collections including the Musée du Louvre, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Musée Nissim-de-Camondo in Paris, the Musée Condé at Chantilly, the Nationalmuseet Stockholm, the Museum of Art Cleveland, Ohio and the J. P. Getty Museum, California.
The esteemed Parisian clockmaker, Jean Baptiste II Dutertre (1715-73), who made the movement for this clock, was supplied by the very finest cases makers including Osmond as well Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain. He also used veneered cases by the ébénistes Joseph de Saint-Germain and Balthazar Lieutaud and other sumptuous cases in Meissen porcelain. Jean Baptiste II Dutertre, sometimes referred to as Dutertre l’Aîné, came from a dynasty of master clockmakers; he was the son and successor of Jean-Baptiste I (1684-1734) and brother of Jean-Abraham (maître 1739, d. 1778) and Nicolas-Charles (1715-93). Received as a maître-horloger in 1735, he continued his father’s business at Quai des Orfèvres. In 1742 he presented a clock and a watch with equation to the Académie Royale des Sciences, Paris. His work was owned by many eminent collectors including the Spanish royal family, the marquis de Béringhen, de Ponts, de Marigny and de Chantemerle, the duc de Penthièvre, the duchesse de Mazarin, the comte de La Marck, President Bochard de Saron as well as Monsieurs Radix de Sainte-Foy, Le Peletier de Mortefontaine and d’Argouges. Today one can find examples of his work at the Musées des Arts Décoratifs in Lyon, de Jacquemart-André at Fontaine-Chaalis and Lazienski Palace, Warsaw.
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