Rare small cartel to pose in gilded bronze with mercury.
Decorated on all sides, it has a violin shape, embellished with acanthus leaves in rooster crest, flower branches and a mound at the top on which rests a couple of doves symbolizing love.
The gills protected by finely perforated brass latticework.
The winding feet are supported by a rock base.
The white enamelled dial indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals.
It is signed "Fieffé Hgr of the observatory" *
The silk thread suspension movement strikes the hours and a half, it is signed on the back plate "Fieffe Paris".
The bronze case attributable to the bronzier Jean-Joseph de St Germain. *
Very good condition, original mercury gilding, high quality cold chasing, perfect working order.
French work from the Louis XV period circa 1750-1760.
Height: 40 cm; Width: 24 cm; Depth: 14cm
Pendulum with two doves signed "St Germain" published page 112 figure A of the book "The Encyclopedia of the French pendulum" by Pierre Kjellberg.
* Jean-Jacques Fieffé (circa 1700-1770) is one of the most famous Parisian watchmakers of the reign of Louis XV.
He was accepted as a master in October 1725 in Paris and set up his studio at Quai de l'Horloge.
Appointed Watchmaker of the Observatory, his clientele is the greatest Parisian lovers of luxury watchmaking. Among them were the Duke of Chaulnes, Abbé Michel-Claude Judde, Robert Galleran des Roziers, vaguemaster of the Maison du Roy, and Marie-Maximilienne Princess of Salm-Kirbourg.
* The Paris Observatory is the oldest astronomical observatory that has operated without interruption since its creation.
Under the leadership of King Louis XIV and Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Royal Academy of Sciences was founded in 1666. On June 21, 1667, the meridian of Paris was drawn at the site of the current building. It is materialized by a copper wire, visible in the “Méridienne” room of the building. The Observatory was built from 1667 to 1672 to plans by architect Claude Perrault, the designer of the famous Louvre colonnade. But the arrival in 1669 of Jean-Dominique Cassini (1625-1712) at the head of the establishment led to a modification of the initial plans.
The building is perfectly oriented on the four cardinal points. On the north side, it has a central avant-corps while the south facade is framed by octagonal pavilions, the plans of which give the position of the sun at the solstices and equinoxes. The nudity of the walls, the absence of architectural orders and decorative motifs (with the exception of two bas-reliefs on the south side) constitute in the 17th century a real exception for a construction of this scale. The observation tower was initially without cover then covered at the end of the 18th century and finally topped with a copper dome in 1845. For nearly 125 years, from 1669 to 1793, the Observatory was run by the family Cassini, a veritable dynasty of great astronomers.
* Jean-Joseph de Saint Germain (1719-1791) received master foundry in earth and sand by masterpiece on July 15, 1748.
He is one of the greatest bronziers of the reign of Louis XV.
In 1765 he became a juror of the founders-chasers guild, a staunch defender of copyright, he proposed and voted for the obligation of bronzers to sign their works.
Indeed as he indicates in an advertising label of his workshop in rue St Nicolas: he sells "all kinds of boxes and fittings in ormolu" and "makes the designs and models in wax"
He is the creator of many successful models such as the two-Chinese cartel, the rhinoceros, elephant, bull clock…. and therefore one of the most copied artists during his lifetime.
He will bring numerous lawsuits, in particular to his former apprentice Jean Goyer who became a cabinetmaker specializing in cartel boxes, forged his models of bronzes and melts them himself!
In addition to the many bronziers plagiarizing his work, they are therefore also cabinetmakers who anxious to save money, allow themselves to melt their own bronzes, which in this 18th century is totally prohibited by the laws of the kingdom.
Unfortunately for St Germain the obligation to mark works will be applied very little, except by a few great founders, also authors of successful models and victims like him of the violation of copyright.
The Caffieri family or Robert Osmond, for example, have set out to mark their works.
The majority of other members preferring to remain anonymous, either to be free to blend the successful models of others, or for reasons of subcontracting to the haberdashery merchants responsible for resale in their shops.
5 500 €
18 000 €
Price : on request