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    Sale 7713

    Furniture & Clocks

    23 April 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 256

    A DIRECTOIRE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE STRIKING AND AUTOMATON 'WINDMILL' MANTEL CLOCK

    LATE 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A DIRECTOIRE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE STRIKING AND AUTOMATON 'WINDMILL' MANTEL CLOCK
    LATE 18TH CENTURY
    CASE: in the form of a windmill flanked to one side by the figure of a miller with dog and to the other by a donkey laden with a sack of flour, the rectangular plinth with a panel decorated in relief with a landscape depicting a further windmill and thatched-roofed farm houses DIAL: white enamel and signed 'a Paris', with ormolu hands
    MOVEMENT: twin barrels, silk suspension, countwheel strike on bell; pendulum, key
    AUTOMATON: tripped at intervals or manually, the sails revolve; later automaton movement
    26 in. (66 cm.) high; 21½ in. (55 cm.) wide; 8 in. (20 cm.) deep


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    Modelled as a working mill, flanked by an enfant meunier (miller youth) and a donkey laden with flour sacks, this charming clock is a perfect illustration of late 18th/early 19th-century novelty clocks. The prominence of the windmill is unusual - more often displayed as a subsidiary part to a rural scene such as in the relief panel to the plinth - and reflects the growing popularity of automaton in this period. A related clock is illustrated in Tardy, French Clocks the World Over, Paris, 1981, Book I, p. 297, these two windmill clocks appearing nevertheless to be rare examples of this distinctive model.

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