1058
1058
A LATE LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE MANTEL CLOCK, CIRCA 1770
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
1058
A LATE LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE MANTEL CLOCK, CIRCA 1770
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 22,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

L’Art de Vivre: Property from the Collection of Kathleen and Martin Field

|
New York

A LATE LOUIS XV GILT BRONZE MANTEL CLOCK, CIRCA 1770
representing an allegory of Russia, with Minerva  personifying Russia holding a laurel wreath with an Imperial coronation orb at her feet, facing Mars seated on a canon and bundle of fasces with the Romanov coat of arms between them; the front and sides of the base with bas-relief plaques of justice, commerce and abundance
height 21 in.; width 18 in.; depth 7.5 in.
53 cm; 45.5 cm; 19 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

By repute, a gift from Louis XV to Catherine the Great of Russia
Galerie Maurice Segoura, Paris

Literature

J.-D. Augarde, Les ouvriers du temps, Paris 1997
Louis XV, un moment de perfection de l'art français, exhibition catalogue, Hôtel de la Monnaie, Paris 1974
Tardy, La Pendule française dans le monde, Paris 1994
P. Verlet,  Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris 1987

Catalogue Note

The design for this lot derives from a virtually identical clock, Louis XV represented as Mars crowned by France represented as Minerva with a movement by signed Roque au Louvre [Fig.1; Versailles, château]. It was supplied in c.1770 for the Cabinet Intérieur du Roi at Versailles, where it was placed on the mantelpiece behind the celebrated Bureau du Roi rolltop desk provided by Oeben and Riesener (both the clock and desk are again in situ). The figures and relief plaques on the base are exactly identical to those on the present clock, but the Russian coat of arms is replaced by a Nemean lion's pelt, and the Minvera figure wears a fleur-de-lys cloak with a fleur-de-lys orb at her feet. The vase finial also incorporates revolving dials with a calendar and signs of the zodiac.
A second related example also survives, intended for the British market and formerly in the Lady Chester Beatty collection (ill. Augarde, p.237, and Verlet p.304, fig.337) [Fig. 2]. Like the Versailles version the movement is signed by Roque and dated 1771, and it also has a revolving dial zodiac calendar above, with the months written in English. The Minerva figure holds a portrait medallion of George III with the lion of Albion and a Union Jack shield at her feet. Verlet suggests that the Versailles clock would also originally have had a portrait medallion of the King that is now lost. Both works were exhibited in the 1974 Hôtel de la Monnaie exhibition, cat. 444-45.  Two further examples of the model with a slightly simplified design have also been recorded (Augarde, p.236).
Joseph-Léonard Roque became master clockmaker in 1770 and received the title Horloger du Roi, with lodgings in the Louvre.  He supplied clocks to members of the Royal family and aristocracy under both Louis XV and XVI, and among his most famous works was the movement for celebrated Création du Monde clock commissioned by Dupleix, governor of France's colonial ports in India, and now in the Louvre.
It is not known who provided the case for the Versailles or English clocks, but Roque regularly worked with the leading bronziers of the period, including Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain, Philippe Caffieri and Jean-Louis Prieur, any of whom could have been the author of this model. No evidence has thus far emerged to suggest the Russian or English versions were ever offered as diplomatic gifts, though they certainly would have been highly appropriate for the purpose.  As the model dates from only a few years before Louis XV's death, any such exchanges would have had to have been effectuated fairly quickly, before the iconography for official gifts was updated to depict the new monarch.

L’Art de Vivre: Property from the Collection of Kathleen and Martin Field

|
New York