A French, so-called cercles tournants clock, made c. 1785. The case is modelled as a cylindrical reliquary, richly decorated with finely chased gilt bronze. Surmounting the clock, a white marble dome is decorated with beading, flower garlands and a flower and leaf bouquet. It is supported by pierced, elongated, lyre-shaped elements adorned with transparent and ruby-red faceted paste motifs; further paste motifs in the form of leafy branches are centred by an arrow that indicates the hours and minutes. The spreading circular base is adorned with leaf motifs and gadrooning; it is chased with wide acanthus leaves and rests on a circular white marble plinth decorated with ribbon-tied floral garlands. On either side, two lightly draped winged cherubs appear to support the clock. The polylobed white marble base is elegantly adorned with beading and pierced friezes of stylised leaves, scrolls, and flowers. The whole is raised upon four finely chase toupie feet. The two revolving ring dials, composed of rectangular white enamel cartouches, indicate the hours in Roman numerals and every fifth minute in Arabic numerals. This clock’s elaborate design is freely based on a model that, while different in composition, features identical cherub figures. That model, which was quite successful, is thought to have been made by a Parisian bronzier such as François Rémond or Pierre-Philippe Thomire, under the supervision of Dominique Daguerre, then the most important dealer in Parisian luxury items. Daguerre would have retained ownership of the model and would have been able to produce variations of it as he desired. Among the known similar examples, one clock whose dial is signed Guydamour is today in the Frick Collection in New York; a second example, perhaps identical to the one previously mentioned, was formerly in the Russian Imperial collections. It was sold at auction in Berlin in 1928.
The Horological Foundation Desk Diary Project.
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