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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 32

    A LOUIS XVI LARGE ORMOLU, PATINATED BRONZE AND WHITE MARBLE STRIKING MANTEL CLOCK

    LEPINE, PARIS, NO. 4103. CIRCA 1785

    Price Realised  

    A LOUIS XVI LARGE ORMOLU, PATINATED BRONZE AND WHITE MARBLE STRIKING MANTEL CLOCK
    LEPINE, PARIS, No. 4103. CIRCA 1785
    CASE: the drum case supported on the backs of four sphinxes and flanked below by two kneeling Egyptian maidens wearing nemes head-dresses and holding columns inscribed with hieroglyphics and detachable flambeau finials, a classically dressed maiden inset to the centre of the case above stepped and moulded plinth with inset relief panel depicting winged putti flanked by two jasperware roundels depicting Ceres and Athena, the top of the case surmounted by further mount (possibly later) with two doves and a bow, lacking rear cover
    DIAL: white enamel with inner concentric day and outer concentric date ring, signed 'Lepine/HGER. DU ROI', pierced and engraved brass main hands and blued steel calendar hands, the lower edge with enamellist signature 'G. M....' (probably for Georges-Adrien Merlet)
    MOVEMENT: substantial twin barrels movement with pinwheel escapement and pierced countwheel strike on bell, wound through the sides of the clock case via wheel and pinion horizontal off set winding signed on the back plate 'Lepine h.er du roi A Paris No.4013'; pendulum
    21 in. (53 cm.) high; 19½ in. (50 cm.) wide; 8 in. (20 cm.) deep


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    Jean Antoine Lepine (1720-1814) was Watchmaker to Louis XV, Louis XVI and Napoleon I. He was highly talented and invented several of the refinements in French watchmaking in the second half of the 18th Century. In 1765 he married Andre Caron's daughter and worked as 'Caron et Lepine' until 1769.
    There are several clocks by him in the British Royal collection and Jagger writes (C. Jagger, Royal Clocks, The British Monarchy and its Timekeepers, London, 1983 p.164) '[Lepine] was a favorite clockmaker in George IV's estimation and a number of clocks were bought from him'.
    In 1783 Lepine left his business to his son-in-law, Claude Pierre Raguet, who continued to sign his clocks 'Lepine' and apparently begun numbering them from 4000.
    The side winding of this clock is very unusual feature and a fairly involved function to achieve. The horizontal winding of the mainsprings is rotated ninety degrees through substantially made wheel and pinion work. This allows the movement to be wound through the side of the case, liberating the fine and elegant dial from prominent winding holes.

    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.


    Saleroom Notice

    The Egyptian side figures are later.