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An important gilt-bronze mounted tortoiseshell and engraved brass marquetry cartel clock with console, Louis XV, by Charles Cressent, the dial and the movement signed GUYOT / APARIS
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34
An important gilt-bronze mounted tortoiseshell and engraved brass marquetry cartel clock with console, Louis XV, by Charles Cressent, the dial and the movement signed GUYOT / APARIS
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Excellence Française

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Paris

An important gilt-bronze mounted tortoiseshell and engraved brass marquetry cartel clock with console, Louis XV, by Charles Cressent, the dial and the movement signed GUYOT / APARIS
the partly enamelled dial surmounted by a putto emerging from clouds, the case with flowers, pierced trelliswork, centred by a female mask, above a console with shells and scrolls, surmounted by two facing chimeras and centred by a lion mask
Haut. 129 cm., larg. 47 cm., prof. 19 cm. ; Height 50¾in., width 18½in., depth 7½in.
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Provenance

- Collection of Marquis de D. ; his sale Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 17 June 1921, lot 91;
- Sale Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 24 March 1955, lot 75

Literature

Literature:
- Tardy, La pendule française, Paris, 1974, 1st part, p. 140, fig. 3.
- T. Dell, « The gilt-bronze cartel clocks of Charles Cressent », in The Burlington Magazine, April 1967, p. 213, type « A », n.3 (1).
- A. Pradère, Charles Cressent, Dijon, 2003, p. 295.

Related literature:
- Tardy, La pendule française, Paris, 1974, 1st part, p. 140, fig. 4.
- P. Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 193, fig. 220.

Catalogue Note

The artistic accomplishment of Charles Cressent reached its zenith with his creation of cartel clocks, of which the consoles or casings are true sculptural masterpieces. This eminent cabinetmaker cast the bronzes himself, doing so outside the rules of the Guild, allowing him to design clock cases and bronze mountings that made up most of his work. His bronze models thus remained exclusive, which explains the rareness of his pieces. Cressent created three types of consoles for the same clocks. Documents indicate that this clock model seems to have been produced for the King of Portugal. As for the consoles, we employ Theodore Dell's classification in his article (see The Burlington Magazine, April 1967). The first type with lions correlates to ours (an example was produced by replacing the lion with a rooster emerging from a shell, auction Sotheby's London, 5 June 1964, lot 24). Four examples including our clock console are listed:
 

- A model in the Musée des Arts Décoratif in Paris, the dial signed Guiot A Paris (fig. 3).

- A model in the Grog-Carven Collection, Louvre, the dial signed Audinet in Paris (fig. 2). 

- A model in the Brock Collection in New York, then in the auction of Esquire Laurin, Paris, 1 July 1987, lot 29 (fig. 1). The movement and the putto at the top of the clock were missing.


The second console clock model has a Zephyr mask in the center blowing feathers atop his hair. One of these cartel clocks was delivered  by the clockmaker Baillon on  17 November 1745 for the Dauphine's chamber at Versailles. Of this type, three pieces have survived:

- A model in the Queen's chamber at Versailles.

- A model in the Château of Chantilly.

- A model from a Private Collection, sold Christie's Paris, 12 December 2004, lot 240.


Finally, a pendulum clock on a gilt-bronze and wooden console suggests that this clock, now in the Minneapolis Institute of Art, could also have been created with the console, thereby excluding the assumption that the console and the pendulum are associated.


Charles Cressent (1685-1768)


Son of François Cressent, sculptor to the King, Charles Cressent was born on 16 December 1685 into a prosperous family of talented craftsmen. He trained as a cabinetmaker and a sculptor and began as an apprentice with André-Charles Boulle. Following his marriage in 1719 to the widow of Joseph Poitou, cabinetmaker to the Regent Philippe d'Orléans, Cressent became one of the most sought after cabinetmakers in Paris. He delivered items to the French Crown and the aristocracy, including the Marquis de Marigny and the Duke of Richelieu, as well as King Joseph I of Portugal and the Elector of Bavaria.

Excellence Française

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Paris