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Louis XVI “Pendule à la Geoffrin” movement by Robin

Fine Louis XVI “Pendule à la Geoffrin” with movement by Robin.  A gilded figure representing “The Use of Time” reclines against the clock while reading. The first version of this model was made as early as 1757 for Madame Geoffrin, who had a famous literary salon in Paris in the 18th century. The sculpture is by Laurent Guiard. In 1768, Mme. Geoffrin gave a version of the model to Denis Diderot, the famous intellectual and editor of the Encyclopédie. Other famous individuals close to Mme. Geoffrin who owned a version of the clock were the marquis de Marigny, the banker Jean-Joseph de Laborde, the duc de Vrillière, the duc de Choiseul (his version is visible on the “Choiseul Box” which contains a series of miniatures showing rooms in his Paris residence), Blondel de Gagny and Horace Walpole. (Walpole’s clock was recently sold at Christie’s London, 23 June, 1999, lot 120 for $168,000.) Versions are now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Waddesdon Manor, the Wallace Collection, the Musée de l’Histoire de France and the Musée de Breuil de Saint-Germain. 

The central portion of the fine ormoulu frieze mount, on a blued steel ground, is seemingly identical to a frieze mount, also on a steel ground, on a table made for Marie-Antoinette for her use at Saint-Cloud in 1784. The writing table, now in the Louvre, is thought to have bronzes made by François Rémond, one of the most notable bronze makers, who often worked with Weisweiler. It is possible, therefore, to attribute the bronzes to Rémond. The clock has fine original two-colored gilding.

Movement by:  Robin

Dial signed Barbichon and dated 1788.


See the article by Christian Baulez in “L’Estampille/ L’Objet d’art”, April 1989, where this clock is cited as one of the last of this model over its unusual 30 year span.

Height - 17½"                           Width - 5½"                               Depth - 8"


Height (ins.): 17.5 (44.5 cm)      Length/Width (ins.): 25.5 (64.8 cm)      Depth (ins.): 8 (20.3 cm)
Origin: France     Period: Louis XVI



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