Lot No. 434* (90th Auction)
Jan Hendrik Kuhn, Amsterdam / presumably workshop of Pierre Jaquet-Droz, La Chaux-de-Fonds / Movement no. 4140, Height 1140 mm, circa 1770

A splendid and important Neuchâtel Louis XVI pendulum clock with date, half hour/hour strike and a marvellous flute playing musical movement with automaton and 6 tunes that activates on the hour and can also be activated manually, produced for the Dutch market
Case: wood, green Vernis Martin decor with white flowers and gilt bronze appliques: volutes, flowers, laurel scrolls and acanthus. Lateral sound holes with open work brass grilles, green silk lining, moulded hip gable with applied head of Apollon and vase at the top. Glazed front door and back side, cord for releasing the automaton and the repeater that plays flute music. Matching curved bracket. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, inner date ring with arrow-shaped hand, open work gilt hand for the sun hours, gilt bezel with laurel scrolls. Cartouche-shaped lower part of the dial with painted polychrome automaton: pastoral scene with a shepherdess playing the lute along with the tune. To her left is a young man wearing a powdered wig and period costume, playing a German flute. Farm buildings are visible in the background. Movm.: rectangular brass full plate movement, moulded movement pillars, 2 barrels, on reverse side fine matted applied rack strike levers, lever escapement, heavy pendulum with steel pendulum rod and brass bob. Muscial movement: heavy brass movement with double chain/fusee and governor; a brass frame below with wooden pinned barrel and 15 metal flutes, rectangular signature panel.

Jan Hendrik Kuhn (1751-1810)
German clockmaker Jan Hendrik Kuhn was born in Luebeck around 1751 and later worked as master clockmaker in Amsterdam. He had a workshop in Kalverstraat near the Heiligeweg from around 1786 until his death in 1810. The records show that Kuhn produced bracket and long case clocks as well as watches. Kuhn regularly advertised his long case clocks and in 1775 he advertised a musical long case clock that played on strings with a complicated automaton mechanism.
Kuhn was a talented craftsman who specialized in the creation of long case clocks and the majority of them seem to have been equipped with complicated musical movements and automatons. The late 18th century was a period where there was a great interest in mechanical objets d’art with musical and moving parts and without doubt Kuhn must be regarded as one of the most important makers of his time. His workshop inventory of 1798 lists two longcase clocks with moving parts, one of them also has a musical movement.
Estimate  50,000 - 70,000 €

Price Realised  70,600 €
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