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    Sale 7631

    Important European Furniture & Sculpture

    4 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 70

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU MANTEL CLOCK

    THE MOVEMENT BY HENRI VOISIN, THE CASE PROBABLY BY ETIENNE MAURICE FALCONET, CIRCA 1780

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU MANTEL CLOCK
    THE MOVEMENT BY HENRI VOISIN, THE CASE PROBABLY BY ETIENNE MAURICE FALCONET, CIRCA 1780
    The circular glazed white enamel dial with Roman and Arabic chapters, inscribed 'Henry VOISIN', framed within a ribbon-tied floral wreath and set in a columnar case flanked to the left by a classically-dressed figure of the shepherdess Chloe making a libation above an altar, and flanked to the right by a lamb, above a fruiting laurel-cast oval base, on beaded tapering circular feet, the movement inscribed 'Henry Voisin A Paris'
    14¾ in. (37.5 cm.) high; 12½ in. (32 cm.) wide; 5 in. (13 cm.) deep


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    This allegorical mantel clock is conceived in the Louis XVI goût grec fashion of the 1770s. Celebrating sacrifices at love's altar in antiquity, it recalls the pastoral romance of Daphnis and Chloe, attributed to the Greek 4th century sophist Longus. Daphnis, the shepherd son of Mercury, is credited with the invention of bucolic poetry in Arcadia. Here his faithful love, the shepherdess Chloe, whose name signifies 'the verdant or blooming one', makes a libation at Cupid's flower-wreathed altar composed of a truncated column. Its plinth, festooned with the poet's triumphal laurels, stands on reed-gadrooned feet evoking the Arcadian deity Pan.
    This model is attributed to the sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet (1716-1791), while the movement is signed by Henri Voisin (a member of the Paris juré from 1773 to 1807). A closely related clock is illustrated in E. Niehuser, French Bronze Clocks, Atglen, 1999, p. 106, fig. 171, while a further example was sold at Ader, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 24 March 1955, lot 67. A clock featuring a figure of Cupid in lieu of a sheep, executed c.1780 by Nicolas-Robert Robin, horloger du Roi, is illustrated in H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröchel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, vol. I, p. 243, fig. 4.6.5.

    Special Notice

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


    Provenance

    Pascal Izarn, Paris.
    Christie's, London, 5 July 2001, lot 21.