A fine Louis XVI style ormolu and crystal mantel clock
BACCARAT CRYSTAL The firm of Baccarat was founded in 1764 by Royal consent, becoming known as the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat in the 19th century. Joining the company in 1841, François-Eugène de Fontenay soon discovered that the addition of nickel oxide in the glass manufacturing process produced a perfectly clear product, resembling precious rock crystal. As a result, the Baccarat company was awarded a Gold Medal at the Expositions des produits de l'industrie française in 1844. By the end of the 19th century, continuing advancements in their manufacturing standards had improved the quality of Baccarat's 'crystal glass' enough to rival and rapidly eclipse the output of the English and Bohemian manufacturers, which until then had dominated production. Today Baccarat 'crystal glass' is still renowned for its unusual clarity, great solidity and weight.
A fine Louis XVI style ormolu and crystal mantel clock


A fine Louis XVI style ormolu and crystal mantel clock
By Baccarat, Paris, Circa 1890
The drum-shaped case surmounted by courting doves, the enamelled dial with Roman chapters, Arabic minutes and twin-train movement by Japy Frères, the pendulum cast with an Apollo-mask, supported by a pair of basket-bearing winged sphinxes seated on an 'embroidered' and tasselled ormolu carpet, on a shaped oblong base with hobnailed underside, on toupie feet
16½in. (42cm.) high; 17½in. (44.5cm.) wide; 7in. (17.8cm.) deep
Etude Vincent Wapler, Property from a Private Collection, Paris, 4 July 1996, lot 435 (FFr.85,000).

Lot Essay

The Classical motif of the present clock derives from several models which appeared towards the end of the 18th century. A related clock with similar billing doves and sphinxes is based on a design by Jean Baptiste Lepaute (d.1801) and is currently part of the Wallace Collection (F269).

The design, with it's elegant sphinx supports, textured drapery, and oblong base, closely relates to a signed garniture by Baccarat sold Sotheby's New York, The Collection of Marshall B. Coyne, 6 June 2001, lot 250 ($104,250).

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