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Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio
Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio - Horology Style Louis XV Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio - Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio - Louis XV Antiquités - Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio
Ref : 95973
38 000 €
Period :
17th century
Artist :
Berthoud à Paris
Provenance :
France Paris
Medium :
Rosewood, Ormolu
Horology  - Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio 17th century - Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio Louis XV - Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio Antiquités - Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio
Franck Baptiste Paris

16th to 19th century furniture and works of art


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Thermometer, Barometer and Wall Clock by F. Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV perio

Luxurious scientific object acting as a pendulum, barometer and thermometer.
Fiddle-shaped, it sports a rosewood veneer embellished with finely chiseled and gilded bronzes.
The large enamel dial of the barometer, with cut-out brass and blued steel hands, indicates the weather ranges from "Beaux temps" to "Storm", and is signed "Ferdinand Berthoud à Paris".*
Above, the enamel dial of the clock indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals, it is also signed "Ferdinand Berthoud".
Finally, a graduated glass thermometer on a white enamel plate indicates the temperature in Réaumur degrees, as was the case in France in the middle of the 18th century.
(The Raumur degree is equal to 1.25 degrees Celsius)
The tick value is between -28 degrees and +45 degrees.
The record cold temperatures for Paris, in 1709 (-15 degrees), 1740, 1742 and 1754, but also the polar temperature of the Russian city of St Petersburg -21 or that of Pondicherry (+33 degrees) are indicated.
Other mentions, such as adequate heat for a patient's room, tell us about the customs of the time.

The original movement, with its silk thread suspension, is signed "Ferdinand Berthoud" on the reverse on the mainplate.
The springs are signed "Richard January 1769"*

The oak body and rear cover are stamped "St Germain" and "JME".*

Rich ornamentation of bronzes finely chiselled cold and gilded with mercury, attributable to the bronzier Jean Joseph de St Germain.*

Perfect state of conservation, original gilding, perfect working order of the clock and the thermometer, missing barometer tube, restoration of use to the marquetry.

Work of the clockmaker to the king and the navy, Ferdinand Berthoud, Paris, Louis XV period around 1765-1770.

Height: 118cm; Width: 34cm

Origin: Castle in Normandy

Similar model by Ferdinand Berthoud at the Getty Museum (Inventory No. 2015.59)

Close models:

Metropolitan Museum of New York (Inventory No. 1982.60.52)
Victoria and Albert Museum (Inventory No. 1097.1882)
Collection of the Château de Hauteville, Geneva auction house 12 September 2015 (31720 Swiss francs)
Sale le Gôut Steinitz III, December 6, 2007, Christies London lot 135 (36,500 GBP)

* Ferdinand Berthoud, born March 18, 1727 in Plancemont-sur-Couvet (Principality of Neuchâtel, Kingdom of Prussia) and died in Groslay on June 20, 1807, was a watchmaker and researcher from Neuchâtel. He became a master watchmaker in Paris in 1753. The man who held the position of Watchmaker Mechanic to the King and the Navy, left a body of work of exceptional breadth, particularly in the field of marine chronometers.

*Etienne-Claude RICHARD, Manufacturer of springs, born in 1747 apprentice in 1767, Master in 1775.

* Joseph de Saint-Germain (1700-1769), received master cabinetmaker on July 31, 1750. This craftsman was the father of the founder Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain (1719-1791).
He specializes in making cases and wooden boxes for clocks.
He first worked as a free worker in the Faubourg St Antoine Libre before being received as a master cabinetmaker in 1750, in accordance with the new statutes of the Jurande.

*Jean-Joseph de St Germain (1719-1791) received master founder 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 sworn member of the foundry-carver guild, a fierce defender of copyright, he proposed and voted for the obligation for bronziers to sign their works.
Indeed, as he indicates in an advertising label for his studio in rue St Nicolas: he sells "all kinds of boxes and fittings in ormolu" and "makes drawings and models in wax"
He is the creator of many successful models such as the cartel with two Chinese, the rhinoceros clock, the elephant, the bull…. and therefore one of the most copied artists of his lifetime.



Our opinion:

Our piece combines the talents of father and son St Germain with those of King Ferdinand Berthoud's mechanic.
Thermometers and barometers are reserved for an elite until the reign of Louis XVI, they are real scientific objects that very few engineers knew how to produce.
A small number of models from this period have come down to us and among the most beautiful is our piece and its counterpart, which is part of the collections of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Due to the great reputation of Ferdinand Berthoud, who worked extensively for the king, many copies bearing his name were produced during the 19th century, and it is for this precise reason that our copy was poorly appraised in the past, c is to say given as Louis XV style, with old elements.
A meticulous dismantling of all the pieces and an in-depth comparative study allow us to affirm that our piece dates from the Louis XV period, more precisely from the period 1765-1770.

In effect :

The Getty Museum has a virtually identical model. (Inventory number 2015.59)

At the level of the structure, the wooden core has a black lacquered reverse, in accordance with the boxes of the cartels of the time, the traces of wood chisels (for the adaptation of the tube and the bell) reveal a natural blush oak, as can be seen on secular pieces dating from the old regime.
The edges of the rear cover are filed, for a perfect finish.
The cabinetmaker's stamp "St Germain" is identical in size and character to several other pieces by the master cabinetmaker formerly in our collection.
This attribution is further confirmed by the presence of a similarly shaped barometer stamped "St Germain" and "JME" in the collections of Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, leaving no doubt as to the authorship of the model.

All the bronzes have sand casting, cold carving and gilding which are characteristic of the reign of Louis XV.
The two bezels, the rim of the thermometer and the bronzes have a uniform gilding.
Some fixing screws of the bronzes are still original, as are the hooks of the rear cover or the ivory wheel of the barometer.

At the level of the instruments, the three dials have the same counter-enamel.
A dial identical to that of our barometer is on a three-dial floor regulator signed Berthoud. (Lot 236, sale of furniture from the Château de Vaux-Praslin, April 5, 1875)
Another very close dial is visible on a second regulator by Ferdinand Berthoud, published on page 281 of J.D Augarde's book "Les Ouvriers du temps".
On these two regulators, Berthoud included as on our piece and on that of the Getty, the same functions. (Barometer, clock and thermometer)

Franck Baptiste Paris

CATALOGUE

Cartel clock Louis XV