THE DUC AND DUCHESSE DE LORRAINE
Léopold-Joseph-Charles-Dominique-Agapet-Hyacinthe, Duke of Lorraine and Bar (1679-1729), succeeded his father, Charles V, in 1690. Born in Innsbruck, where his family was in exile under the protection of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, and after whom he was named, Léopold served in the Imperial army and in 1697 was given command of the army of the Rhine. With the end of the Nine Years War in 1697, the treaty of Ryswick restored the duchies of Lorraine and Bar to the house of Lorraine. In 1698 Léopold returned to his capital, Nancy. In October 1698 he married Elisabeth-Charlotte of Orléans (1676-1744), niece of Louis XIV and petite fille de France, at the Palace of Fontainebleau.
Despite the diplomatic marriage between the houses of Orléans and Lorraine, Nancy was again occupied during the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1713), forcing the duke and duchesse to move to the Château de Lunéville. During this time (1708-1709), the architect Germain Boffrand (1667-1754), a pupil of Jules Hardouin-Mansart (1646-1708), created designs which were to change Lunéville into the 'Versailles of Lorraine'. A fire in 1719 destroyed the house, although it would subsequently be rebuilt.
THE COMMISSION FOR A PENDULE à TROIS CADRANS
The unusual glass dial of this clock is engraved with the coat-of-arms of Elisabeth-Charlotte d'Orléans suggesting that the clock was commissioned from Richard to stand in her appartements at the château de Lunéville and most certainly in her Grand Cabinet. The glass dial 'à triple cadrans' would have indeed been befitting as in perfect harmony with the mirrored walls and large windows of her Grand Cabinet, as illustrated by a recent gouache commissioned by Jacques Charles-Gaffiot giving an impression of the splendor of the Grand Cabinet before the fire of 1719 and featuring the present clock on the mantelpiece. M.Charles-Gaffiot suggests that the clock may have been among the pieces which escaped the fire, as did some of the old master paintings from the château such as the large toiles by Jean-Baptiste Martin (1659-1735), today in the Salle des Gardes of the Imperial Palace of Hofburg, Innsbrück (J.Charles-Gaffiot, Ibid., p.34). The present clock would then almost certainly have accompanied the duchesse to the château de Commercy circa 1737, until bequeathed upon her death in 1744 to one of her children. It is most probable that the clock would have been inherited by her second son Charles-Alexandre or that it would have become the property of Anne-Marguerite de Ligniville, princesse de Beauvau-Craon for the château de Haroué, as a result of the latter having exercised her droit de charge at the death of the duchesse de Lorraine in 1744. Such was indeed the case with the magnificent coffret en crystal de roche which originally stood in the 'Galerie des Hommes Illustres' in the North West Wing of the Palais-Royal where Anne d'Autriche and the then young King Louis XIV resided from 1643 until the latter moved to the Louvre in 1661.
That Léopold would have most certainly commissioned the present clock for the ducal household is further supported by a number of recorded payments from the duc to Richard illustrating what appears to have been a rather fructuous relationship. These include a payment in April 1710 listed under 'Dépenses extraordinaires', describing:
'De la somme de cent quatre livres cinq sols au Sr Richard pour marchandises qu'il a fourny en l'hôtel pendant le présent mois suivant son mémoire... 104# 5s' [See Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle, ref. AD 54B art. 1956]. Correspondence from 1713 describing the payment of 400 livres from the duke to Francois Richard in anticipation of the latter's trip to Paris to acquire elements necessary for the execution of a clock - though it appears in this case a more complex clock with moving figures - commissioned by the duc, further supports that Richard was actively involved in supplying clocks and possibly other mechanical objets d'art to the ducal household. The letter from the duc dated 17 July 1713 reads:
Le Sr. Richard, horloger de Son Altesse Royale a Luneville, etant oblige d'aller à Paris pour y faire emplettes de certaines choses qu'il ne peut pas trouver dans ce pays, lesquelles lui sont necessaires pour achever une pendule a carillons ornee de plusieurs figures mouvantes. Son Altesse Royale m'a ordonne de vous escrire de sa par[t] pour vous mander de faire delivrer audit Richard la somme de 400 livres fournies en deduction de celle qu'on lui donnera pour le prix de ladite pendule à laquelle il travaille depuis un an et ce a quoi j'obeis en vous renouvellant que j' ai l'honneur d'etre avec respect, Monsieur, Votre tres humble et tres obligeant serviteur,
THE AEGINA AND GANYMEDE CHENETS
A pair of chenets circa 1710 allegorical of 'Les Amours de Jupiter' and comprising two sculptural groups respectively modelled as Ganymede and Aegina - daughter of the River God Asopus - each borne on the back of Jupiter in the form of an eagle rising from flames, is in the Frick Collection, New York (T. Dell, The Frick Collection, vol VI, New York, 1992, pp.243-8).
Dell relates the latter pair to several related examples in the Residenzmuseum in Munich, the Swedish Royal collection at Drottningholm and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, amongst others, and refers to the Rijksmuseum pair as probably identical to that sold in Madame d'Yvon's 1892 collection sale under lot number 519. Interestingly, the Rijksmuseum pair, formerly in the Guttman collection (Berlin and Heemstede) came to the Rijksmuseum in 1760 where it remained until restituted to Guttman's heirs in 2002 and later sold from the Guttman Collection, Christie's, Amsterdam, 13 May 2003, lot 45 (EUR100,380 with premium).
The presence of a pair of chenets of Aegina and Ganymede borne on Jupiter's back in the 1892 collection sale of Madame d'Yvon would suggest that these would have originally been commissioned by the duchesse de Lorraine en suite with the present clock. It is therefore reasonable to assume that both the clock and the chenets would have been kept together as an ensemble by their subsequent owners until dispersed in the 1892 sale of the Comtesse d'Yvon's collection. Interestingly, the above mentioned gouache executed at the behest of J-Charles Gaffiot illustrates the pair of chenets modelled as Ganymede and Aegina borne on Jupiter as an eagle, besides the mantelpiece upon which towers the clock.
THE 1892 COLLECTION SALE OF THE COMTESSE D'YVON
Madame d'Yvon married the Comte d'Yvon, Inspecteur du Garde-Meuble de la couronne under the reign of Louis-Philippe and a man of 'artistic tastes' in 1842, after the death of her first husband, an English man by the name of Samuel Smith. The Comte and the Comtesse d'Yvon resided at 20 rue de la Chaise, Paris, and were renowned for their magnificent and extensive collection of old master paintings, drawings, tapestries and objets d'art. The d'Yvon collection appears in Galignani's New Paris guide for 1862 as a private museum, visible by application in writing, the tapestries in the Grand Salon alone being noted as worth 100,000 francs. The collection sale of the d'Yvon collection took place over six consecutive days from 30 May to 4 June 1892, at Galerie Georges Petit, in Paris and featured the present clock as part of a garniture under lot 497, and the pair of chenets en suite as lot 519.
PRINCE RUSPOLI POGGIO DI POGGIO SUASA
Emanuele Francesco Maria dei Principi Ruspoli (1838-1899) was the 1st Principe di Poggio Suasa, son of Bartolomeo dei Principi Ruspoli and wife Carolina Ratti, and great-nephew of Cardinal Bartolomeo Ruspoli. He was Nobile di Viterbo e di Orvieto and Prince of Holy Roman Empire. Emanuele was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy and received the Silver Medal of Military Valor in 1859.
FRANCOIS RICHARD: 'HORLOGER-MECANICIEN'
François Richard (1678-1759) was born in Charleroi and worked in Nancy from 1708 where he became 'machiniste du roi'. He is recorded as having executed a 'rocher mécanique' for Stanislas I Leszczynski (1677-1766), King of Poland and also Duke of Lorraine, as well as a 'belle pendule' which he supplied to Léopold, duc de Lorraine in 1727 for 100,000 livres (for the mechanical workmanship alone and none of the embellissements as is specified in the 'Bibliothèque Lorraine ou Histoire des Hommes Illustres' by Dominique Augustin Calmet, 1751, col. 813 to 818).
Richard's renown and popularity was praised in the 1766 Eloge Historique de Callot, noble lorrain, célèbre graveur, ['dédié a Son Altesse Royale Monseigneur Charles-Alexandre de Lorraine'], published by F. Husson in Brussels:
'François Richard.... s'est rendu célèbre dans la Mécanique: 1 Par une Pendule, achetée par S.A.R. le Duc Léopold, transportée en Toscane au changement d'Etat, elle montroit les heures, les quarts, les jours de la Semaine, du mois & de la Lune ; les Signes du Zodiaques; les Fêtes-mobiles & non Mobiles ; un Coq chantant & qui battoit des ailes, un Ange présentant le Portrait de S.A.R. Léopold; les Portes d'une Eglise s'ouvrant pour faire voir ce Portrait, & se refermant ensuite.
2 Par une autre Pendule, dont les Platines & le Cadran étoient de Cristal, & dont on voyoit toutes les Roues se mouvoir [almost certainly the present clock]
3 Par un Tableau mouvant, représentant divers Objets, envoyé par S.A.R. Léopold au Duc François son fils à Vienne en 1726
4 Par un Tableau Zophonosique.... représentant une sorte de foire ....
5 Par un Rocher dans le Bosquet de Lunéville, ....
6 Par une Montre marchant sur un plan incliné..'
We are grateful to Monsieur Jacques Charles-Gaffiot, the Association des Amis de Lunéville and the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur les Collections de la Maison de Lorraine et du Roi de Pologne for their help in preparing this catalogue entry.