With its cloudbourne putti and finely chased figures, this fine clock is emblematic of the delicate designs produced in the final decades of the Ancien Régime. The present clock is likely based on a preparatory drawing dated to circa 1780 of a similar clock on a side table by 18th century sculptor, draughtsman and engraver, Louis Félix de La Rue in the musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris and illustrated in H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Münich, 1986, Vol. I, p. 251, no. 4.6.23. The cylindrical clock in the sketch is supported on billowing clouds and surmounted with putti, much like the present lot. A clock closely resembling the present model, also likely by La Rue, is illustrated in H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 251, no. 4.6.22.
Several 19th century bronziers produced clocks in this model including the firm Lemerle-Charpentier & Cie, the creator of the present clock. A nearly identical clock by Charpentier & Cie with a white marble base sold Christie’s, London, 6 March 2014, lot 178 (£15,000). The Beurdeley dynasty also created versions of this model including one by Beurdeley with a white marble base sold Christie’s, London, 9 December 2010, lot 206 (£20,000) and another by Beurdeley also with a white marble base sold Christie’s, London, 5 December 2013, lot 161.