• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2808

    European Furniture, Clocks, Sculpture and Works of Art

    15 - 16 December 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 514

    A FRENCH ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE THREE PIECE CLOCK GARNITURE

    LATE 19TH CENTURY; THE CLOCK MODELLED AS A RHINOCEROS AFTER JEAN-JOSEPH DE SAINT-GERMAIN

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE THREE PIECE CLOCK GARNITURE
    LATE 19TH CENTURY; THE CLOCK MODELLED AS A RHINOCEROS AFTER JEAN-JOSEPH DE SAINT-GERMAIN
    The white enamel dial signed Martinet Fres with pierced and chased ormolu hands, eight-day twin barrel movement with brocot type suspension, countwheel strike on bell; pendulum
    48 cm. high
    Together with a pair of five-light candelabra with scrolled foliate branches, the stem modelled as a dolphin -50 cm. high (3)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Mantel clocks incorporating naturalistic modelled figures of rhinoceros, elephants, bulls and lions were highly fashionable in mid-18th Century Paris.
    The earliest version is a mantel clock with a rhinoceros base dating before 1747, mentioned in the inventory report of maître-fondeur Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain's wife as deux pendules au rhinoceros l'une pour modèle et l'autre finie prisés...

    Three distinct models of Rhinoceros mantel clocks by Saint-Germain are recognized. The first and earliest group after, which the present lot is copied, is based on Dürer's engraving of an Indian rhinoceros from 1515. A second model, probably based on Johann-Joachim Kändler's figure of a rhinoceros, modelled for Meissen in 1747 upon the animal's visit to Dresden, is slightly less stylized with the beast's head rearing. The final model was almost certainly executed during 1749 when a live rhinoceros arrived in Paris and it was available for first hand study. See also: H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, München 1986, vol. II, p. 525, fig. 2.; and P. Kjellberg, Encyclopdie de la Pendule Française, Paris 1997, p. 129, fig. D.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.