An Important Clock
200,000 - 300,000 USD
An Important Clock
silvered bronze, champlevé enamel
impressed JEAN GOULDEN LIV and dated 1928
14 1/8 x 10 1/8 x 4 7/8 in. (36 x 25.9 x 12.2 cm)
Overall in very good condition. One of the artist’s most important and defining masterworks, this piece combines silvered bronze and enamel with highly artistic geometric motifs and is overall in remarkably well-preserved condition. The silvered bronze surfaces present with light faint surface scratches throughout consistent with gentle handling, as well as very minimal areas of faint discoloration concentrated to the edges of the piece (not visually distracting). The bronze with extremely minor pitting throughout consistent with age (not visually distracting). The enameled surfaces present with variegated colors that include black, white, turquoise and royal blue. The enamel is very well preserved overall with very minimal variations in color and surface application inherent to production. The enameled surfaces present with scattered and very minor scratches and minute pinholes (not visually distracting). The enamel on the clock face is in excellent and well-preserved condition overall. The back of the clock includes a removable silvered bronze cover permitting access to the clock face and hardware. Functionality of the movement is not guaranteed and it may need service at the buyer's discretion.
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.
This unique clock is perhaps one of Jean Goulden’s most outstanding and large-scale achievements in the champlevé enamel technique. Perhaps one of his most celebrated works, this clock embodies the timeless artistry that made his work a symbol of the Jazz Age in France and overseas. Only 190 objects by Goulden are known to exist, making the present clock all the more special.
Goulden developed a practice that was truly singular amongst his peers in the Parisian avant-garde scene. Jean Goulden traveled to Macedonia as a military doctor during the first World War. There he discovered Byzantine art and was deeply influenced by the beauty of Byzantine enamelwork. Upon returning to Paris, he settled in a workshop in Montparnasse next door to Jean Lambert-Rucki where he painted and developed his unique artistic process with enamel. He became close friends with Jean Dunand and Jean-Louis Schmied with whom he realized a few exceptional collaborative pieces of furniture and book bindings. From 1921 onwards, Galerie Georges Petit held a number of highly successful group exhibitions of works by Dunand, Jouve, Schmied and Goulden. Working in enamel allowed Goulden to develop his unique artistic pursuit and revealed his passion for technical research. In the tradition of the great Art Deco artists who used only the finest materials, his preferred metals were silvered bronze and sterling silver.
His champlevé enamel technique is superbly represented here in the superimposition of turquoise and dark blue panels. Not only was Goulden an incredibly skilled technician, he was also an artist in his own right, creating stunning and complex compositions. This unique clock exhibits strong Cubist influences and Machine Age aesthetics in its construction, cleverly combining a variety of geometric forms with bright accent colors. Goulden created few objects as sophisticated as the present clock, a superlative example that rises to the level of an Art Deco masterpiece further evidenced by its rich exhibition history.