Christie's New York, The Vitale Collection of Highly Important European Clocks, Part I, October 30, 1996, lot 58
Tarault Jeune is recorded working in the Rue Richelieu in Paris in 1830, later in the Rue des Bons Enfants in 1840 and then the Rue du Bac in 1850. Francis X. Vitale was a chief corporate officer for a multinational chemical company in New Jersey and an obsessive collector of antique European clocks, which led him to become a part-time dealer in his spare time with a gallery in the coastal community of Spring Lake, NJ that enjoyed a reputation as one of the finest collections of timepieces in the world. In 1996 it was discovered he had defrauded his company of more than $12 million over a period of eight years to support his acquisitions, and his entire stock was seized and auctioned in two sales in New York and London in 1996 as restitution to his former employer (New York Times, October 1, 1997, 'In a Passion for Antique Clocks, Executive Embezzled $12 million').
Minor patches to outset cornice on corners of right side, two one-inch patches at back, otherwise in nice refinished condition. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.