A Louis XVI ormolu mounted ebony veneered month-going equation longcase clock, Ferdinand Berthoud, Paris, circa 1770, the case attributed to Balthazar Lieutaud
- Ebony, brass, steel, enamel
Descended to the Earl of Stair via the marriage in 1846 of 10th Earl of Stair (1819-1903) to Louisa Jane Henrietta Emily de Franquetot, eldest daughter of August-Louis-Joseph-Casimir-Gustave, duc de Coigny (1788-1865). The Duke was himself the grandson of François, duc de Coigny (1737-1821), Marshal of France, confidant of Louis XV and Louis XVI and intimate friend of Queen Marie-Antoinette.
Sold Christies 6th April, 1978
Mr & Mrs Jack Bailey
Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807) was born in Plancemont, Switzerland and, at the age of fourteen, was apprenticed to his brother, Jean-Henri a clockmaker, for three years. During this time both brothers moved to Paris and it is believed that Ferdinand spent some time working for the famous clockmaker, Julien Le Roy. A brilliant horologist, he specialised in regulators and chronometers. His reputation spread far and wide and he was appointed a member of the Royal Society in 1766. Berthoud used the best cabinet makers and bronziers for his clocks and, amongst others, is known to have worked with both Balthazar Lieutaud and Philippe Caffieri.
Balthazar Lieutaud became Master in 1749 and is particularly known for his clock cases, although he also made other items of furniture such as commodes and secretaires. Lieutaud worked with many of the great Parisian clockmakers such as Robin, Lepaute and particularly Berthoud. He is recorded as working in Rue de la Pelleterie and, after 1772, in Rue d'Enfer. He died in 1780.
A very similar clock with virtually identical dial and movement is in the Wallace Collection, London, Fig 1, and is described in great detail and compared with this clock in P.Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, London 1996, Vol. I, P.444-451. Further similar regulators by Berthoud and Lieutaud are in the Frick Collection, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Chateau de Versaille, Paris.