5 July 2000
A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED WHITE MARBLE CLOCK
By Festeau le Jeune
In the form of a fluted column, the circular enamel dial with Roman and Arabic chapters and pierced lyre and fleur-de-lys shaped giltmetal hands within a rope-twist bezel and glazed door surrounded by laurel and foliate swags, surmounted by a putto with a globe and a bust of a philosopher, the column base with a bas relief of playing putti, on a beaded square plinth and turned feet, the dial signed 'Festeau Le Jeune a Paris', the finial mount with repaired breaks
15½ in. (37.5 cm.) high; 6½ in. (16.5 cm.) wide; 6 in. (15 cm.) deep
Sir Julius Wernher, 1st Bt. (1850-1912), Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, in the Library, by whom bequeathed, with a life interest to his widow Alice, Lady Wernher, subsequently Lady Ludlow (1862-1945), to his son
Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt. (1893-1973), Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire, in his personal Study, and by descent.
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1913 Luton Hoo Inventory, p. 20, no. 74, in the Library.
The signature is probably that of Simon-François Festeau, recorded at rue Saint-Martin, 1772-8, rue Montmorency, 1780, and rue Montorgueil, 1789. Between 1776-81, he was charged with the upkeep of the clock in the Bastille.
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