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La Pendulerie à Paris

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An extremely fine late Louis XVI gilt bronze mounted, painted marble, enamel, biscuit porcelain and verre églomisé mantle clock of eight day duration, signed on the white enamel dial Revel à Paris. The dial with Arabic numerals and a fine pair of gilt brass hands with pierced pointers for the hours and minutes. The movement with anchor escapement, silk thread suspension, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel. The magnificent case with the dial within a stiff-leaf bezel surmounted by a simulated fountain of water above a ribbon-tied bow and floral swags around the clock drum, flanked by a pair of projecting supports hung with drops, upon each is a gilt bronze mounted painted marble vase issuing a topiary bush, the clock drum supported on the wings of a pair of outward facing sphinxes with nemes headdresses and a scrolled tail between their legs, the sphinxes on a gilt bronze mounted marble plinth flanked by a pair of painted marble columns and centred by a circular medallion of blue and white biscuit porcelain in imitation of Wedgewood porcelain featuring the Three Graces holding a floral swag and attended by a putto, the medallion set within a verre églomisé ground, on a black marble rectangular base with shaped rounded ends on turned feet Paris, date circa 1785-90 Height 53 cm, width 32 cm. Literature: J. Ramon Colon de Carvajal, “Catalogo de Relojes del Patrimonio Nacional”, 1987, p.77, number 61, illustrating a very similar clock in the Spanish royal collection, signed on the dial F.L. Godon, the main difference being that the central medallion is painted rather than being of biscuit porcelain. G. Wannenes, “Le Più Belle Pendole Francesci – Da Luigi XIV all’Impero”, 1991, p. 104, illustrating a very similar clock. Pierre Kjellberg, “Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle”, 1997, p. 281, pl. E, illustrating a very similar clock with a painted medallion showing a mythological scene. Elke Niehüser, “Die Französische Bronzeuhr”, 1997, p. 205, pl. 163, illustrating a very similar clock. A clock of very similar form, except for the detailing of the central medallion was in the collection of the German fashion designer, artist and photographer Karl Lagerfeld, which was sold by Christie’s Monaco, 28th and 29th April 2000, lot 249. In addition to that, the one in the Spanish royal collection and other examples cited above another almost identical clock has been found which is signed by the clockmaker Léchopié. The movement for this magnificent work was made by Joseph Revel (d. 1828), a Parisian clockmaker of considerable repute who was first recorded in 1774 and was appointed a maître-horloger the following year. From then on and up until 1783 Revel’s business was based at Vieille rue du Temple. He was further recorded at Palais-Royal, Galerie de Valois, from 1787-1790. By 1800 he was established at Galerie de Pierre du Palais Egalité and from 1804-1806 at Palais Tribunat. Revel is known to have made movements for clocks as well as watches. Several examples of his craftsmanship can be found in public collections including a marble column clock and an enamelled watch with sonnerie in the Musée du Petit Palais, Paris. Another of his clocks is housed in the Nationalmuseet Stockholm while a further watch can be found in the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Paris. The present clock is one of many late eighteenth century examples that reflect the abundant interest in ancient Egypt. Among other comparable examples housing a Revel movement is a pyramid shaped clock which as here features a pair of outward facing sphinxes, illustrated in Tardy “Les Plus Belles Pendules Françaises”, 1994, p. 213, full colour pl. LIII.


La Pendulerie à Paris

134 Rue du Faubourg St Honore,
Paris 75008, France

8 rue de Beaune (corner rue de Lille)
Paris 75007 France

tel:+33 1 45614455
fax:+33 1 45614454


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