• The Decorative Arts Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 2827

    The Decorative Arts Sale

    22 - 23 September 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 535

    A NAPOLEON III PARCEL-GILT AND PATINATED BRONZE FIGURAL THREE PIECE CLOCK GARNITURE

    THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY; CAST FROM THE MODEL BY ALBERT ERNEST CARRIER-BELLEUSE (1824-1887); THE MOVEMENT BY AUGUSTE LEMAIRE, PARIS

    Price Realised  

    A NAPOLEON III PARCEL-GILT AND PATINATED BRONZE FIGURAL THREE PIECE CLOCK GARNITURE
    THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY; CAST FROM THE MODEL BY ALBERT ERNEST CARRIER-BELLEUSE (1824-1887); THE MOVEMENT BY AUGUSTE LEMAIRE, PARIS
    Comprising a clock and a pair of seven-light candelabra, each signed to the top of the plinth base A. CARRIER, the clock surmounted by an allegorical group of a seated lady and a male figure holding a child, flanking a columnar and square shaped clock case with gilt bezel, the white enamel chapter ring surrounding the gilt centre signed AUGte LEMAIRE/121 Rue Vieille-le-Temple/PARIS, blued steel hands, eight-day twin barrel movement, Brocot-type suspension and strike on bell, stamped A.LEMAIRE...2533 to the backplate; the seven-ligth candelabra depicting L'ENFANT PÊCHEUR and L'ENFANT CHASSEUR each holding aloft a candelabrum with naturalistic lily-shaped arms and bobèches; pendulum
    The clock: 52 cm. high x 55 cm. wide x 21 cm. deep
    The candelabra: 75 cm. high overall


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    Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887) moved to Paris from Anisy-le-Château as a child, where he apprenticed to the ciseleur Beauchery and the goldsmith Fauconnier, who was also the employer of Barye. He briefly attended the École des Beaux-Arts in 1840, joining students such as Chapu and Carpeaux.

    Carrier-Belleuse stands out from the major sculptors of the Second Empire not only as the most prolific artist of his day, but as the one whose oeuvre touches upon every possible outlet available in the decorative arts, from terracotta to bronze, marble and gold. He created works on many different scales and with many different uses - from monumental pieces to trophies, clocks, statuettes, vases and jewellery.
    In 1848, Carrier-Belleuse received his first official commission from the new Republic. Notable architectural projects include the torchères for the Grand Staircase of the Paris Opéra and the decorative work for the Hôtel de Pava.

    He debuted at the Salon in 1850, and left France for England the same year to become director of the design school at the Minton porcelain manufactory in Staffordshire, a post he held for five years. Upon his return to Paris the sculptor's career flourished. His annual exhibitions at the Salons awarded him various medals, and his works were consistently lauded for their freshness and vitality.

    During the Paris Commune in 1871, Carrier-Belleuse briefly moved his business to Brussels, but returned to Paris after the war where his success continued despite the new political regime. A talented entrepreneur, Carrier-Belleuse organized seventeen lucrative auctions of his own work beginning in 1868, an unusual practice for a living artist. At the height of his production, he commanded a vast studio with fifty assistants. In 1885 he was promoted to Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur, two years before his death at Sèvres.

    Carrier-Belleuse's commercial success, proliferation, and level of craftsmanship, helps to explain the influence that he held over his various students: Dalou, Cheret, Falguière, and of course Auguste Rodin.

    Repeatedly throughout his career, Carrier-Belleuse returned to the motif of a allegorical or mythological female figure. This motif was particularly applicable to the Romantic sculptural programmes of the Second Empire. Napoleon III himself referred to the sculptor as 'our Clodion', remarking upon the obvious influence of the 18th century on the artist's work.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €20,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €20,001 and €800.000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €800.000. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the clock is sold with the pendulum.