Very beautiful bronze pendulum finely chiseled and gilded with mercury.
The subject representing maternal love, with a woman dressed in the antique, leaning on a pedestal, who mourns the death of her bird, whose body rests in front of her.
On the other side, a young boy in the guise of cupid offers him his dove.
The draped plinth is adorned with a frieze of heart stripes and a quiver intertwined with a flaming torch; it is supported by two claw feet which rest on a turquin blue marble base curved with pearl friezes and embellished with bronze foliage.
In the middle of the pedestal, the white enamel dial indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals.
It is signed "Sotiau in Paris".*
Original movement, silk thread suspension, perfect working order. (Revised by our watchmaker)
The bronze case attributable to the master foundry-carver François Vion.*
High quality of chasing and mercury gilding with double patina, matt and shiny.
Parisian work from the Louis XVI period around 1785.
Height: 36cm; Width: 26.5 cm, Depth: 13 cm
Paris, sale of the Berthon collection from December 16 to 20, 1867, lot 481
*Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau (1749-1791) is a watchmaker received master on June 24, 1782 in Paris.
He set up his studio in rue Saint-Honoré and immediately met with immense success with the great amateurs of the time. Through the intermediary of the main merchant-mercers of the capital, particularly François Darnault and Dominique Daguerre, he designs clock movements, masterpieces of elegance, perfection and refinement, for the greatest collectors. Like the best Parisian watchmakers, Sotiau surrounds itself with the most skilful craftsmen to make the cases of its clocks, working in particular with the bronziers Pierre-Philippe Thomire, François Rémond or François Vion as on our model.
He very quickly obtained the coveted title of "Watchmaker to Monseigneur le Dauphin", eldest son of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.
*François Vion is a master bronzier active in Paris between 1764 and 1800.
He is the author of the clock with three graces delivered to Mrs. Du Barry in 1774, the clock "love and war" or our clock entitled "the weeping bird".
The drawings of these last two clocks are preserved in the Doucet library in Paris.
The drawing of our pendulum is illustrated in the book "Vergoldete Bronzen" by Hans Ottomeyer & Peter Proschel, Page 247 of Volume I
Our opinion :
Queen Marie-Antoinette owned an identical clock with a movement by royal clockmaker Robert Robin which was on display at the Trianon in Versailles. Another was listed in 1777 in the apartments of the Comte d'Artois, the future Charles X at the Palais du Temple. Other clocks of this model can be found today at the Palace of Versailles, the Museum of Decorative Arts and even at Nissim de Camondo.
Given the extreme quality of our example, and knowing that many members of the royal family owned this model, each signed by their own watchmaker, it cannot be ruled out that our clock may have been ordered from Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau. , the watchmaker of the Dauphin Louis Joseph (1781-1789) for the use of the latter.
It would indeed seem that the queen is at the origin of this model which perfectly symbolizes the maternal love that she had with her children.
12 000 €
4 300 €