An important late Louis XV ormolu, white marble and porphyry pendule à cercles tournants Signed Stollewerck A Paris, circa 1765
Lot 80
An important late Louis XV ormolu, white marble and porphyry pendule à cercles tournants
Signed Stollewerck A Paris, circa 1765
Sold for US$ 31,250 inc. premium
Auction Details
An important late Louis XV ormolu, white marble and porphyry pendule à cercles tournants Signed Stollewerck A Paris, circa 1765
Lot Details
Property from a Private European Collector
An important late Louis XV ormolu, white marble and porphyry pendule à cercles tournants
Signed Stollewerck A Paris, circa 1765
The molded stepped marble base inset with panels of porphyry supporting an ormolu urn rising from a flared ribbon tied foot and acanthus calyx, applied laurel wreath and Greek key band around the body, rising angular loop handles and ram's masks flanking the domed lid with bud final, apertures in the rim reveal silvered roman chapters and arabic minute numeral engraved on two rings revolving within the body of the urn, the signed substantial two train movement within the base with verge escapement, thread suspended pendulum (lacking) striking the hour and half hour on a bell, the motion work incorporating a contrate wheel turning a steel rod passing through the urn and carrying the hour and minute rings
26.5in (68.5cm)

Footnotes

  • Michel Stollewerck, (maître 1746, d. 1768), a German working in Paris, is best known for complicated movements, carillons and planispheres such as his elaborate astronomical clock in the Wallace collection. He was recognized by his contemporaries as an artist of exceptional mechanical talent. The present clock is evidence of Stollewerk's genius to overcome mechanical complexity.

    In the newly fashionable designs of "le goût grec", the neo classical urn was quickly transformed into a novel clock which dispensed with the conventional circular dial and hands. Instead, the hours and minutes are indicated by numbered bands rotating around the body of the urn, thus becoming a pendule à cercles tournants.

    In his treatise The Early Neoclassical in France, Svend Eriksen notes the earliest clocks of this form appear in the designs of the bronzier Jean-Louis Prieur for the Royal Palace at Warsaw in 1766. A well documented example of the form was delivered to Madame du Barry by the marchand mercier Poirier in 1768. These earliest urn clocks, employed a typical Paris movement concealed within the base. However, a right angle bend of the clock's gearing upward through the body of the urn was required to turn the hour and minute rings.

    It is not surprising that an artisan such as Stollewerck would be among the first to construct such a movement.

    Stollewerk extended the conventional motion work driving the hour and minute hands with a contrate wheel and long arbor turning the hour and minute wheels within the urn. He also cleverly inserted a small circular plate carrying wheeled bearings to reduce friction at the arbor where the rings rotate. This feature is absent in the Poirier designed clocks which tend to jam if the rings are not perfectly balanced.
Activities
Contacts
  1. Jonathan Snellenburg
    Specialist - Watches
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, 10022
    United States
    Work +1 212 461 6530
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007