The C couronné poinçon was a tax mark employed on any alloy containing copper between March 1745 and February 1749.
The Grand Canal at Versailles continues the axis of the château into the gardens and since its creation in 1669 has been the most prominent and monumental feature in the grounds. To demonstrate the King's splendour, an impressive flotilla was displayed during fêtes galantes, which was admired for its aesthetic and festive aspects but also from an academic and scientific point of view. The fleet consisted not only of sailing ships, rowing boats, gondolas, but also of war ships, frigates and galleys, all brought to Versailles or copied on a smaller scale. Some of the greatest French architects and designers executed projects for vessels, including Jean Bérain, Philippe Caffiéri and Jean Le Pautre. The present model demontrates the continued vogue for 'gondoles pour l'usage du Roy dans Les Canaux De versaille [..]' into the 18th Century, and the present example, whilst executed in the late 1740s, is after a late 17th Century prototype.
Henry Clarke (1918-1996) was an American-born photographer and francophile who lived and worked in Paris for most of his life. He worked for Vogue for almost thirty years, photographing iconic subjects including Katherine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, Sophia Loren and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Clarke was a keen collector, and through his friendship with the antiquaire Raymond Poteau they formed important collections at both their Paris apartment and their Roquebrune villa. A philanthropist, he bequeathed his photographic back-catalogue to the Musée de la Mode et du Costume and his possessions to the Institut Pasteur, for whose benefit a sale was held at Christie's Monaco in 1998.