• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 157

    A LATE LOUIS XVI ORMOLU, ENAMEL AND ROUGE GRIOTTE MARBLE SKELETON CLOCK

    LATE 18TH CENTURY, THE ENAMELS BY JOSEPH COTEAU

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LATE LOUIS XVI ORMOLU, ENAMEL AND ROUGE GRIOTTE MARBLE SKELETON CLOCK
    LATE 18TH CENTURY, THE ENAMELS BY JOSEPH COTEAU
    The pierced octagonal white and polychrome-enamelled and parcel-gilt dial with Arabic numerals and raised outer date chapters surmounted by a aperture displaying the moon phase and a finial modelled as a celestrial globe, flanked by a pair of cornucopiae issuing various objects symbolic of the arts, above a central circular medallion decorated in grisaille with Cupid astride a lion above a revolving silvered disk indicating the day of the week, flanked by simulated drapery and classically draped female figures and above two further grisaille scenes, on a rectangular plinth with circular feet, with blued steel date hand, now lacking seconds hand
    18½ in. (47 cm.) high; 10¼ in. (26 cm.) wide; 3½ in. (9 cm.) deep


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    Joseph Coteau (1740-1812) was possibly the most famous enameller of his day, supplying dials for the great clockmakers of France. Born in Geneva he became maître-peintre-émailleur at the Académie de Saint-Luc in Geneva in 1766. By 1772 he was installed in Rue Poupée, Paris. Coteau is celebrated not only for his dials but also as a skilled miniaturist. He discovered a new method for fixing raised gold on porcelain and worked closely with the Sèvres factory in developing their 'jewelled' porcelain. After the abolition of the guilds in 1791, enamellers were allowed to sell complete clocks without being required to include the name of the clockmaker.
    A very similar clock enamelled by Coteau, which incorporates a subsidiary dial with Republican hours and minutes in the place of the medallion painted on the present clock, is illustrated, J.-D. Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, Geneva, 1996, p. 103, pl. 66. It furthermore has a similar phase of the moon arch and is decorated with similar medallions enamelled en grisaille.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN