A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND BRASS-INLAID EBONY AND EBONIZED RÉGULATEUR DE PARQUET
A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND BRASS-INLAID EBONY AND EBONIZED RÉGULATEUR DE PARQUET
A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND BRASS-INLAID EBONY AND EBONIZED RÉGULATEUR DE PARQUET
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Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND BRASS-INLAID EBONY AND EBONIZED RÉGULATEUR DE PARQUET

ATTRIBUTED TO ANDRÉ-CHARLES BOULLE, CIRCA 1710

Details
A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED TORTOISESHELL AND BRASS-INLAID EBONY AND EBONIZED RÉGULATEUR DE PARQUET
ATTRIBUTED TO ANDRÉ-CHARLES BOULLE, CIRCA 1710
The dial centered by entwined dragons and inset with white enamel cartouches with blue Roman numerals, the shield-shaped case surmounted by an ormolu putto mid-flight above scrolling foliage centered by a shell flanked by further foliage; the baluster-shaped center section with hinged door, the flared lower section with pendant ormolu foliate sprays flanking the arched pendulum aperture centered by a female mask with laurel wreath, raised on a rectangular plinth base with hinged door surrounded by leaf-tip borders, with an associated early 18th century English movement, the lower section possibly reduced in height
94 in. (238.8 cm.) high, 20 ¼ in. (51.4 cm.) wide, 10 ½ in. (26.7 cm.) deep
Provenance
Baron Louis de Rothschild; Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 13-14 May 1955, lot 378.
Property of A Private American Collector; Sotheby’s, New York, 14 October 1988, lot 42.
Acquired at the above sale by Steinitz, by whom sold to the present owners.
Literature
Charles Packer, Paris Furniture by the Master Ebénistes, Newport, 1956, fig. 27A.
Jean-Dominique Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, Geneva, 1996, p. 83.
Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française de Moyen-Age au XXe siècle, Paris, 1997, p. 65.
Special notice

Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.
Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay

André-Charles Boulle, appointed Ebéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi in 1672.

This superb régulateur is among the select group of furniture and bronzes d’ameublement which can be directly attributed to Boulle, on the basis of a drawing by him for a closely related clock case in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (illustrated here), which features the same overall form, the central laurel-crowned female mask and the distinctive clasps below the hood. A drawing for another related, but more elaborate clock case, also given to Boulle and in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, is illustrated in H. Ottomeyer/P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 44, fig. 1.4.2.

Régulateurs are relatively rare in Boulle’s oeuvre and are among his grandest creations. The documented examples by Boulle include one with movement by Raby supplied in 1707-1708 to prince Henry-Jules de Bourbon-Condé for the Petit Luxembourg, (possibly that sold anonymously Christie’s, New York, 2 November 2000, lot 249, $193,000); and the régulateur supplied towards the end of Boulle’s career to the comte de Toulouse in 1720, now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (see A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, p. 102, fig. 58 and p. 88, fig. 45). One should also note the extraordinary armoire-régulateur in the Wallace Collection, London, recorded in Boulle’s stock in 1715, and whose central régulateur is of the same form as the prince de Condé example (Pradère, op. cit., p. 66, fig. 13).

ANDRE-CHARLES BOULLE

Arguably the greatest of all cabinet-makers, and certainly the most influential, André-Charles Boulle's pre-eminence has remained undiminished since 1672, when Colbert, First Minister to Louis XIV, recommended him to the King as le plus habile de Paris dans son métier.' The son of a maître menuisier en ébène, 'Jean Bolt', Boulle was already a maître by 1666, and in 1672 was appointed Ebéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi, enabling him to establish workshops in the Louvre. Boulle's uneclipsed fame rests upon three principal strands: his extraordinary technical virtuosity as a craftsman (recognized by the Livre Commode des Addresses de Paris of 1691, which stated that Boulle fait des ouvrages de marqueterie d'une beauté singulaire) - his innovation in both technique and design (most famously in his development of cut-brass and tortoiseshell inlay in dazzling arabesque patterns, the celebrated ‘Boulle’ marquetry’), and his brilliance as a sculptor. Indeed, it is the complete sculptural integration of Boulle's distinctive ormolu mounts - so often inspired by Classical Mythology and even derived from models by sculptors such as Michelangelo and François Girardon - within the confines of case-furniture that most succinctly defines his style. This is demonstrated by the fact that his workshop included no less than six benches for gilding, casting and chasing mounts alone. His fame has remained undimmed since the 17th century and he was one of the select few cabinet-makers to be mentioned by name in 18th century catalogues. All the great collections formed in the 19th century included examples of Boulle’s work, and it is no accident that this splendid clock emerged in the 1950s from perhaps the greatest family collection of them all when it was sold from the collection of Baron Louis de Rothschild of the fabled family’s Vienna branch.

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