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    Sale 7700

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 160

    A CHINESE ORMOLU MUSICAL AND AUTOMATON TABLE CLOCK

    QIANLONG OR JIAQING PERIOD. LATE 18TH EARLY 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A CHINESE ORMOLU MUSICAL AND AUTOMATON TABLE CLOCK
    QIANLONG OR JIAQING PERIOD. LATE 18TH EARLY 19TH CENTURY
    The waisted and foliate mounted case surmounted by pagoda within a balustraded gallery and centred by a kneeling European automaton figure, surmounted by a pineapple finial, with further pineapple finials to the corners below, handles to the sides above silk-backed foliate and C-scroll sound frets, raised on scroll feet, with acanthus-cast front and rear doors, the arched dial with foliate scrolls spandrels to white enamel Roman and Arabic chapter disc, ormolu hands and centre seconds, with pierced and painted automaton scene with European figures in pagodas overlooking swans moving on simulated water, with waterfall scene to the background, the movement raised on brass brackets and with six pillars, with rear-wound triple gut fusees and verge escapement, hour strike on bell and hourly music on eight bells with eight hammers via 2 in. long pinned barrel, the automaton swans and waterfall also performing at the hour, whilst the figure in the cupola opens a scroll with Chinese inscription 'The first officer of the Court', with two tune selection through the right side sound fret, the back plate engraved with leafy sprigs and with a 'nonsense' signature within a cartouche, further 'signature' to the pendulum bob; with modern travel box
    See movement detail page 229
    21½ in. (54.5 cm.) high; 9½ in. (24 cm.) wide; 6½ in. (16 cm.) deep


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    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    D. Roberts, Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks, Atglen, 1999, p.187, fig.15-25b
    Roberts illustrates a Chinese clock of very closely related design, save for a lower pagoda without the automaton figure. The present clock is in a style popular in England at the end of the 18th Century. See for example a pagoda-topped ormolu table clock by Francis Perigal also with automaton figure sold anonymously, Christie's London, 15 September 2004, lot 16. Emulating European style, many Chinese clockmakers inscribed pseudo-signatures on their movements.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 12 April 1988, lot 48
    Anonymous sale, Phillips, London, 26 September 1995, lot 24