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    Sale 2796

    The P.C. Spaans Collection of Important European Clocks

    19 December 2007, Amsterdam

  • Lot 473

    A Louis XIV boulle tortoiseshell and ormolu striking tête du poupée clock


    Price Realised  


    A Louis XIV boulle tortoiseshell and ormolu striking tête du poupée clock
    Baltazar Martinot, Paris. Circa 1690
    The case decorated with contre-partie marquetry to front and sides and with half-orb cresting trailing swags, flanked by flaming urn finials, raised on four replaced paw feet, the foliate engraved and matted dial applied with an engraved brass dial with Roman chapters and Arabic five minutes, steel hands (replaced minute), signed on a cartouche below VI Balthazar/Martinot/Paris, the eight day movement with rectanglar plates joined by five back-pinned vase-shaped pillars, twin barrels, three spoke wheelwork, verge escapement with silk suspension, calibrated countwheel, hour and half hour strike on bell above the case, the back plate signed Balthazar Martinot Paris; pendulum, crank key
    54.5 cm. high

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    Winthrop Edey, French Clocks, London, 1967, p.36, fig.15
    Tardy, French Clocks, Clocks The World Over, Vol.I, Paris, 1981, pp.152-153
    Pierre Kjellberg, L'Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française, Paris, 1997, pp.54-55
    Peter Heuer & Klaus Maurice, Europäische Pendeluhren, Munich, 1988, pp.20-21, figs.12-13

    The extensive Martinot dynasty of clockmakers gave birth to three Balthazars who would have been working at this time. Almost certainly the present clock was made by the youngest (1636-1714). As his father never worked in Paris the signature Balthazar Martinot à Paris was exclusively his from 1660-1715.
    A master clockmaker, Balthazar Martinot held a number of titles, including Valet de Chambre-Horloger Ordinaire de la Reine, Anne of Austria. He was also Horloger Ordinaire du conseil du Roi and was garde-visiteur (see lot 476 footnote) 1678-1679 and 1693-1695. He was established at Rue Galande in 1683 and Quai de Orfèvres at La Belle Image in 1697.
    Martinot was an extremely busy maker and in 1700 he owned the largest stock of clocks in Paris. Upon his death he left the huge sum of 170,000 livres. He used cases by André-Charles Boulle and Jean-Michel Ziegler. Among his clientele was the King of Siam, to whom he supplied several clocks in 1685 and others are mentioned in the inventory of the Grand Dauphin in 1689 and in the posthumous inventory of Louis XIV. See Jean-Dominique Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, Geneva, 1996, p.368. A tête du poupée clock by Balthazar Martinot was sold Sotheby's New York, French Furniture, 24 October 2003, lot 13. A religeuse by him with case attributed to Boulle was sold Sotheby's New York, The Justice Warren Shepro Collection of Clocks, 26 April 2001, lot 106.

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