5 July 2002,
Price realised GBP 10,994
GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000
A gilt-metal triangular table timepiece with alarm
Unsigned, probably French. Circa 1600
The circular gilt dial engraved with a radiant sunburst and Arabic chapters, later blued steel hands, the movement with delicate triangular plates secured by three steel columnar pillars riveted to the back plate and pinned to the front plate, the going train with gilt spring barrel and gut fusee, verge escapement with restored steel balance and pinned balance cock, the alarm train with strike on a bell between the plates, the case engraved on the dial with further Roman chapter ring with touchpieces, the spandrels engraved with martial trophies, the three sides intricately engraved with individual military scenes; the siege of a fortress with the besieged pointing their guns towards an assembled army divided by a river; another scene depicting armour-suited soliders fighting hand to hand in the heat of a battle; the other engraved with a joust with two knights about to engage each other attended by foot soliders and with dead soliders on the ground between, the base plate engraved with a bow and arrows and a helmet and an axe centred by a ribbon-tied wreath
2 in. (5 cm.) high, 5¼ in. (13 cm.) each side
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Early triangular clocks are extremely rare; no examples are illustrated in Tardy's, French Clocks.
The case is particularly well engraved with realistic and finely detailed battle scenes.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Dina Zhang, Head of Sale for Asian Contemporary Art, explains how Hong Kong’s meeting of East and West has shaped her view of art
François de Ricqlès, President of Christie's France, explains how this exceptional work speaks to the Rockefellers’ mutually admiring relationship with France