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    Sale 2810

    European Furniture, Clocks, Sculpture and Works of Art

    7 May 2008, Amsterdam

  • Lot 48

    A LARGE EMPIRE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE FIGURAL STRIKING PENDULE A CERCLES TOURNANTS

    LEPAUTE, PARIS. EARLY 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A LARGE EMPIRE ORMOLU AND PATINATED BRONZE FIGURAL STRIKING PENDULE A CERCLES TOURNANTS
    LEPAUTE, PARIS. EARLY 19TH CENTURY
    The rectangular case with a detachable front panel depicting a stone-carving putto, above a moulded plinth inscribed LEPAUTE flanked to one side by a winged putto and the figure of Urania to the other side resting on a 16 cm. diameter sphere with circular white enamel rings indicating the hours and minutes with Arabic numerals, the twin barrel five pillar movement mounted between rectangular back-pinned plates, the front plate signed Lepaute a Paris. 9+4, dead beat anchor escapement with knife-edge suspension, brass and steel grid iron pendulum, pierced countwheel mounted on the front plate, striking the hours and half hours on one bell mounted on the backplate
    68 cm. high


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    Jean-Joseph Lepaute (1768-1846) joined the Lepaute family company of Pierre-Basile in 1798.
    A clock of similar outline and with identical signature LEPAUTE to the front is in the collection of Musée Napoléon 1er, Château Fontainebleau (inventory number F3885). The Fontainebleau clock has been recorded to be supplied by Jean-Joseph Lepaute to Châteu Fontainebleau in 1813 (Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers, Paris 1972, p 384).
    The present clock has finely cast patinated figures of a putto and Urania similar to the Fontainebleau clock (however these figures are executed in ormolu) and a clock illustrated in Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule Française, Paris 1997, p. 396, fig B, the latter signed Lepaute & Fils. Kjellberg writes that this clock has been made after a pendule designed by the architect De Wailly and the sculptor Houdon in 1770 for the Princess de Condé in the Palais Bourbon. (Kjellberg, p. 396).
    Another clock of closely related design, also signed LEPAUTE on the front is executed with the same female figure but flanked by the figure of Father Time, is illustrated in M. Dupuy-Baylet, Pendules du mobilier national 1800-1870. p. 58.

    THE LEPAUTE DYNASTY
    Spelt both Le Paute and Lepaute, this celebrated dynasty of horlogers was founded by Jean-André in 1740. Settled in Paris and appointed horloger du Roi with lodgings in the Luxembourg Palace, his innovative ideas, such as the échappement à repos of 1753, as well as his writings, including an impressive work called Traité d'Horlogerie, published in 1755, earned him the title Maître and lodgings at the Louvre in 1759. His brother Jean-Baptiste also became horloger du Roi and succeeded him in the Galeries du Louvre lodgings in 1775. The next generation of horlogers strengthened the reputation of the Lepaute dynasty. Pierre-Henry Lepaute and his cousin Pierre-Basile bought, then subsequently divided, their uncle's company, This latter line of the dynasty continued to prosper, Pierre-Basile and his nephew Jean-Joseph employing the signature 'Lepaute à Paris', and during the Empire they became the main supplier of clocks to the garde-meuble of which this clock is a good example.
    For more details on individual members of the Lepaute dynasty see Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers, Paris 1972, pp.378-386.

    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 €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.