• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7841

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    29 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 134

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU, PATINATED BRONZE AND WHITE MARBLE STRIKING 'PENDULE A L'ÉTUDE ET LA PHILOSOPHIE'

    FERDINAND BERTHOUD, AFTER THE DESIGN BY FRANÇOIS RÉMOND, CIRCA 1785

    Price Realised  

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU, PATINATED BRONZE AND WHITE MARBLE STRIKING 'PENDULE A L'ÉTUDE ET LA PHILOSOPHIE'
    FERDINAND BERTHOUD, AFTER THE DESIGN BY FRANÇOIS RÉMOND, CIRCA 1785
    CASE: surmounted by an eagle and flanked by figures personifying Philosophy and Study, the rectangular base with rounded ends and inset with relief panels, on acorn feet, male figure lacking pen DIAL: white enamel, signed 'Ferdinand/Berthoud', pierced and engraved ormolu hands MOVEMENT: twin barrels, anchor escapement and countwheel strike on bell (replaced); pendulum, winding key
    16 in. (40.5 cm.) high; 22 in. (56 cm.) wide; 5 in. (12.5 cm.) deep


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    Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807) was one of the finest clockmakers of the 18th Century. In 1766 he was appointed a member of the Royal Society of London and later a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
    This enormously successful model came from a design by François Rémond, Paris circa 1785 (illustrated H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et. al., Vergoldete Bronzen Vol. I, Munich, 1986, p. 295, fig, 4. 17. 5). The two figures derive from the models of L'Etude et la Philosophie created for the Sèvres factory by Louis-Simon Boizot in 1780.
    A clock of this model, but on a slightly different and slightly larger base and signed Drocourt, Paris, was sold from The Greenberg Collection of Important French Furniture, Sotheby's New York, 21 May 2004, lot 28 ($51,000). Another by Pochon, Paris, also in a similar case and slightly larger, was sold by Partridge, Christie's New York, 17 May 2006, lot 27 ($38,400).
    A number of examples of this model exist, although there are some variations, including the readers being in biscuit porcelain and ormolu, some variations to the plinth decoration and also in the overall size. Three clocks of this model are in the British Royal collection and illustrated, C. Jagger, Royal Clocks, The British Monarchy and its Timekeepers, London, 1983, pp.154-155; of these, at least one was acquired by George, Prince of Wales for the East Ante Room at Carlton House, before being moved via Vulliamy to Windsor Castle in 1828 (H. Roberts, For The King's Pleasure, The Furnishing and Decoration of George IV's Apartments at Windsor Castle, London, 2001, fig. 213). Another is at Versailles (H. Ottomeyer, P. Pröschel et al., p. 295, fig. 4.17.6).

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN