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    Sale 7713

    Furniture & Clocks

    23 April 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 185

    A LATE LOUIS XVI GILT-LEAD, ORMOLU AND WHITE MARBLE STRIKING AND AUTOMATON MANTEL CLOCK

    CIRCA 1800

    Price Realised  

    A LATE LOUIS XVI GILT-LEAD, ORMOLU AND WHITE MARBLE STRIKING AND AUTOMATON MANTEL CLOCK
    CIRCA 1800
    CASE: modelled as a lighthouse tower with soldiers and cannons to the turret, above naturalistic wave-cast base set with opposing automaton battleships, above white marble plinth on toupie feet
    DIAL: white enamel with pierced ormolu hands
    MOVEMENT: twin barrels, silk suspension, countwheel strike on bell AUTOMATON: independent movement to side causing the ships to rock
    15¼ in. (39 cm.) high; 16 in. (40.5 cm.) wide; 7½ in. (19 cm.) deep


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    This unusual clock depicts two ships in battle with an armed tower. Despite the gravity of the moment, with the vessel on the right appearing to be sinking, the scene has humorous elements; in the centre a face peeks out from the base of the tower, while a rather portly figure has removed his hat and wears a wide grin. Such details combined with the staged composition perhaps indicate that this is a scene from contemporary theatre; an earlier precedent for this can be found in a clock depicting a scene from the comic opera, The Deserter, illustrated in Tardy, French Clocks the World Over, Paris, 1981, Book II, p. 111.

    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.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN