This fine régulateur de parquet is after the celebrated model attributed to Jean-Henri Riesener, executed in 1785 and now in the Musée de Louvre (cat. C.Dr., No. 185).
The attribution to Riesener is based on numerous stylistic motifs distinctive to his oeuvre: the Apollo mask to the frieze is a recurrent feature on later stamped furniture by Riesener, as are the acanthus cast volutes heading the chamfered angles.
Today this model is one of the most famous régulateur clocks from French Royal Ancien Régime. Its hood, with dial encircled by sculptural cloudbourne cherubs is most distinctive. Its enduring popularity owes much to it being a favoured object of Empress Eugénie, who placed it in her cabinet de travail at the Palais des Tuleries in 1855. Empress Eugénie was fascinated with Marie-Antoinette, and her interest in furniture such as this sparked a wider fashionable revival of the Louis XVI style. At Empress Eugénie’s behest, the model was replicated in the 19th century as a barometer by the cabinet-maker Guillaume Grohé (for an illustration of Riesener's original clock and Grohé's pendant barometer, see P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 116, no. 145 and p. 384, no. 394).
Following defeat in the Franco-Prussian war the régulateur was transferred to the Mobilier National for display at the Louvre. It is here that it would have been admired by ébénistes who would have sought permission to replicate the model. Examples from this time are known to have also been made by Dasson’s contemporaries Alfred Beurdeley, Paul Sormani and Lexcellent, though few of the quality of the present lot are known.