A fine and rare Louis XV porcelain, ormolu and patinated bronze elephant clock the case attributed to Philippe Caffieri, the calendar movement signed Viger à Paris, No. 166mid 18th century
Lot 1185
A fine and rare Louis XV porcelain, ormolu and patinated bronze elephant clock
the case attributed to Philippe Caffieri, the calendar movement signed Viger à Paris, No. 166
mid 18th century
Sold for US$ 27,500 inc. premium
Lot Details
Property of various owners
A fine and rare Louis XV porcelain, ormolu and patinated bronze elephant clock
the case attributed to Philippe Caffieri, the calendar movement signed Viger à Paris, No. 166
mid 18th century

The elephant standing on a rockwork base raised on leafy scrolls and supporting the molded circular case flanked on either side by vines with porcelain flowers, surmounted by a Chinoiserie figure under a parasol, the circular white enamel dial with arabic minute ring and date ring enclosing roman chapters, pierced gilt hour and minute hands, blued calendar hand, two train movement striking the hour and half hour on bell by means of a crossed out count wheel.
height 20.5in (52cm)

Footnotes

  • The present clock can be attributed to the Caffieri workshop, probably under the direction of Philippe Caffieri (1714-1774).

    An example of this model, signed "fait par Caffieri", in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, is illustrated in Pierre Verlet, Les Bronzes Doré Français du XVIII Siècle, fig. 230, p 201. Another, closely similar, but with later musical base, also signed by Caffieri was sold by Christies, Paris, December 19, 2007, lot 350.

    An unfinished model for the elephant clock is mentioned in the 1747 inventory of the Caffieri workshop made when Philippe entered in to partnership with his father, Jacques. A completed clock is recorded in the 1755 workshop inventory made at the time of Jacques' death.

    The clock maker François Viger (c. 1708- 1784) was born in Dieppe, then removed to Paris where he worked as an "ouvrier libre" from 1733. He was received as maître in 1744 by a decree exempting him from an apprenticeship. He occupied premises in the rue St Denis 1744-1783. J.-D. Augarde notes that he sold clocks of the highest quality in cases by many prominent bronziers, notably J. J. de St. Germain. A rhinoceros clock by St. Germain, conserved in the Louvre as well as an elephant clock also attributed to St. Germain among the treasures of the Cathredral of Tournai both contain movements by Viger. see Verlet, fig. 155 p120, fig. 219 p192.
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