Large mantel clock in chiseled, patinated and gilded bronze; damping adorned with a simulated urn with detached handles finished in a leafy and flowery bouquet; movement, striking the hours and half hours, is enclosed in a circular box underlined by a garland of beribboned laurels and rests on a lion figured on a checkerboard terrace resting its left fore paw on a starry sphere. The whole is supported by a quadrangular architectural base surrounded by a molded cavetto and embellished with projecting dice centered with rosettes and a large ribboned garland surmounting a medallion with the profile of Louis XV in a leafy crown.
Work attributed to Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain.
Period Transition Louis XV-Louis XVI
64cm H x 36.5cm W x 19cm D
The original composition of this rare mantel clock draws its inspiration directly from the animal theme linked to the lion, the most recurrent symbol of royal power imposing Peace. The animal is represented here supporting, and therefore mastering, terrestrial Time and dominating celestial Time, symbolized by the starry sphere. Nowadays, among the rare other listed clocks of an identical model, let us mention in particular: a first example, the dial signed "Caquerelle à Paris" and richly decorated with faceted Rhine stones called "rhinestones", which was formerly in the Coke collection at Jenkyn Place (Sotheby's sale, London, October 17, 1996, lot 151); as well as a second by Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain sold at Christie's, in London in June 1987 (illustrated in JD. Augarde, The workers of Time, La pendulum à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier, Editions Antiquorum, Geneva, 1996, p.54, fig.36).
Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain (Paris 1719-1791) is probably the most famous Parisian bronzier of the mid-18th century. Active from 1742, the craftsman is best known for the creation of numerous cases of clocks and cartels which made his reputation, in particular the so-called "à la Diane Chasseresse" cartel (see a copy kept in the Louvre Museum), the pendulum supported by two Chinese (see a model of this type at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Lyon), as well as several pendulums with animal themes, mainly elephants and rhinos. Towards the end of the 1750s, he also played a key role in the revival of Parisian decorative arts and in the development of the neoclassical current. Alongside its watchmaking creations, Saint-Germain also produces many bronze furnishings: andirons, sconces, candelabras...always showing the same creativity and demonstrating its exceptional talents as a bronzer. He retired from business for good in the mid-1770s.
Price : on request