By family tradition Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816), probably purchased from Jean-Antoine Lépine in Paris in 1792
Given by Gouverneur Morris to his sister Mrs. Samuel Ogden (née Euphemia Morris, 1754-1818)
Mrs. Ogden bequeathed it to her daughter Catherine Ogden (married James Parker in 1827)
Mrs. Parker bequeathed it to Cortlandt Parker (1818-1907)
The Estate of Irene Hirschon Brenner, sold Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 22-23 October 1965, lot 210.
The backplate is inscribed This clock was brought from Paris by Gouverneur Morris U.S. Minister at the court of Louis XVI. It stood in the apartments of Marie Antoinette and was bought by Mr. Morris at the sale ordered by the revolutionists, after the sale of the "Tuileries." It was given by Mr. Morris to his sister Mrs. Samuel Ogden, bequeathed by her to her daughter Mrs. James Parker, and by her to the present owner Cortlandt Parker. May 1891
Whereas it is highly possible that this clock was purchased dirrectly by Mr. Morris (1752-1816) from its maker, Jean-Antoine Lépine (1720-1814) after the revolution, the inscriber's suggestion that this lot was once owned by Queen Marie Antoinette is highly unlikely. Even though Morris did purchase pieces items belonging to the Queen at revolutionary sales, this piece neither bears royal inventory marks nor does it fit stylistically with other objects owned by the Marie Antoinette, see Louis Schreider III, "Gouverneur Morris, Connoisseur of French Art," Apollo, June 1971, p. 481. Lépine was one of the most important Parisian clock makers of the second half of the eighteenth century and he supplied numerous clocks to the court of Louis XVI. The majority of his dials, including the one on this clock, was produced by the enameller Barbichon, who had his workshop at 1 rue Saint-Séverin in Paris. According to the letters of Gouverneur Morris the first transaction between him and Lépine occurred in 1789, when the clock maker sold a few watches to Morris, see ibid. p. 479. At the time, Gouverneur Morris, now considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States who represented Philadelphia in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, was on his first trip journey to Paris, where he later served as Minister Plenipotentiery to France between 1792 and 1794. His diaries kept during his mission offer not only a detailed description of the events of the revolution, but also shed light on his Parisian purchases. An entry for July 1792 show that Morris visited Lépine's shop that month and bought several clocks or watches. In October 1792 he purchased from Lépine for 2944 livres "deux pendules avec ses vases pur accompagner la plus grande." Shortly before he had purchased for 2400 livres the regulator subsequently sold Christie's New York, 30 October 1996, lot 126.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale