Overview

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A DUTCH WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT LONGCASE CLOCK WITH POLYCHROME PAINTED DIAL DEPICTING A BESIEGED CITY AND WITH SHIPS AUTOMATON 'SCHEEPJESMECHANIEK'
THE PROPERTY OF A DUTCH GENTLEMAN
A DUTCH WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT LONGCASE CLOCK WITH POLYCHROME PAINTED DIAL DEPICTING A BESIEGED CITY AND WITH SHIPS AUTOMATON 'SCHEEPJESMECHANIEK'

PIETER SWAAN, AMSTERDAM. SECOND QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

Details
A DUTCH WALNUT AND BURR-WALNUT LONGCASE CLOCK WITH POLYCHROME PAINTED DIAL DEPICTING A BESIEGED CITY AND WITH SHIPS AUTOMATON 'SCHEEPJESMECHANIEK'
PIETER SWAAN, AMSTERDAM. SECOND QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
The case of typical form, carved foliate mouldings, canted angles, scrolled angles to the plinth base, the trunkdoor with gilt-brass lenticle mount depicting the Rape of Europe, giltwood figural finials, the brass dial with silvered chapterring, matted and engraved centre with penny moon above, sectors for month and day of week, silvered alarm setting disc, pierced steel hands, subsidiary seconds ring with date aperture, signature swag inscribed PIETER SWAAN AMSTERDAM above the painted automaton scene depicting Mercury and other allogorical figures to the upper corners, the rocking ships set into a recessed panel painted with a naval battlescene and a besieged town, the eight-day movement with anchor escapement mounted to the backplate, Dutch strike and alarm on two bells; pendulum, two large brass weights, two alarm weights, crank key, door key
295 cm. high
Provenance
By repute the collection of G. van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Maritiem Antiquariaat Delfshaven, Rotterdam, 1996.
Where acquired by the present owner.

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Sabine Dalmeijer
Sabine Dalmeijer Furniture

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Lot Essay

Pieter Swaan (probably born 1670) was active during the end of the 17th Century and the first half of the 18th Century. His workshop was situated at the Leliegracht in Amsterdam.

The present lot does have a very nice dial with automaton movement. Five Dutch rocking ships are positioned in front of an unusual polychrome painted scene depicting a riverlandscape with a besieged town to the left side and a rampart to the right. Warfare is in progress with various figures and fire-bombs flying through the air. Unfortunately it is still unclear which city is depicted. The ships can be indentified as Dutch and the costumes are 18th Century. Based on an engraving by Hogenberg, the scene migth be an 18th century interpretation of the battle of Den Brielle, the town which was conquered by the 'watergeuzen' in 1572 during the 80-years war.
Another possibility is that this scene refers to the Anglo-Dutch wars during the 17th Century. Nevertheless an unusual typical Dutch scene which reflects orangist feelings as well as Dutch naval pride and commercial spirit.
Only a few clocks with complications made by Swaan are known. A related longcase clock with astronimical dial was sold Christie's Amsterdam, sale 2542, The dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Collection, 16 April 2002, lot 1335. Sold for 94,000 euro.

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