Dalva Brothers Antiques, Antique Furniture, New York

French 18th century furniture, clocks, lighting, paintings, porcelain, sculpture and tapestries


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Angouleme biscuit clock with movement by Schmit dial by Coteau
Unusual large glazed porcelain and biscuit mantel clock manufactured at the Angoulême factory, with fine ormoulu mounts.  The sculpture, attributed to Charles Gabriel Sauvage, called Lemire, portrays an adult winged figure, possibly Cupid or a personification of History, writing Greek in a large book, which is supported by a winged putto.  The grisaille painting in the frieze under the movement is in the manner of Piat Joseph Sauvage and portrays child gardeners under a brilliant pinkish purple sky. The mounts, mostly fine moldings, include lion paw feet and reliefs of mermaids in the chamfered corners. [Part of the writing plume is lacking.]

The complicated movement, with the dial inscribed “Schmit a Paris”, tells seconds, hours, the days of the week and the date. The dial is also inscribed: “MANUFRE. DE MGR. LE DUC D’ANGOULÊME”. The dial is signed by Coteau.

There is a nearly identical version of this clock at Waddesdon Manor. Another clock of this model was lot 103 in the Luttrellstown Castle sale held by Christie’s in Ireland on September 26-28, 1983. A slightly later Dihl et Guérhard (the successor company of the Angoulême manufactory after the Revolution) biscuit group in the collection of H.M. the Queen portrays the same adult figure, but without wings, transformed into Apollo Instructing the Shepherds. (See: Régine de Plinval de Guillebon: Les Biscuits de porcelaine de Paris; Faton, 2012. Page 214.) George Washington may have owned a version of the Apollo group.

Height (ins.): 22      Length/Width (ins.): 23½      Depth (ins.):
Origin: France, late 18th century     Period: Louis XVI



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