Lot 5004
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Home & Interiors: Antique Furniture & Design, Ceramics & Decorative Art | 25 June 2021
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A French ormolu and patinated bronze mantle clock, 'pendule au rhinocéros'

Julien Le Roy (1686-1759), mid-18th century

The case centred by a patinated bronze rhinoceros with open mouth, standing on a base decorated with foliate C-scrolls, and carrying the clockwork surrounded by conforming rocaille decoration, the enamel dial with blue painted Roman numerals, signed 'Julien Le Roy', the square 18th-century mechanism with a verge escapement, striking mechanism on a count wheel, striking once on the half hour and the whole hour in full, with cord suspended pendulum.

H 57, W 39 cm

Provenance: From an old Dutch family

Literature: For rhinoceros clocks, see T.H. Clarke, The Rhinoceros from Dürer to Stubbs, 1515-1799, London 1986, pp. 126-136.

The rhinoceros model of this particular clock was probably modelled after a print of the Indian rhinoceros Clara, who arrived in Rotterdam in 1741 and toured through Europe. She arrived at the ménagerie of the Château de Versailles in 1749, and she would spend five months in France. Her visit had a significant impact on French culture. During the early 1750s, various types of rhinoceros clocks were made by Parisian clockmakers, and sold in the capital by marchand-merciers.

The back plate unsigned, which is not uncommon with clocks by Julien Le Roy.

The case is in excellent condition. There is no visible damage or missing parts. The gilding is still intact. The patina of the rhinoceros figure has some small wear on the horn and a some on the back. The clock has some surface dirt, which can easily be removed.

The dial has blue Roman numerals, as often seen on clocks by Julien Le Roy. Also, the signature with the two dots is typical for this clockmaker. The proportion of the Roman and Arabic numerals coincides with 18th-century dials, for instance several Louis XV animal clocks from this era. The hands, although maybe atypical, have been delicately engraved, and are similar to hands on other clocks by Le Roy. The glass of the back window has possibly been replaced.

An original square 18th-century clockwork in working order, but will certainly need to be serviced. The original verge escapement was at one time replaced by an anchor escapement, often done in the 19th century to win in accuracy. Looking at the fixtures of the mechanism to the dial, these are original to the clock.

€ 15.000,00
€ 25.000,00
€ 43.000,00

Hamerprijs: € 43.000

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