Attributed to Louis-Stanislas Lenoir-Ravrio / Honoré Pons, Saint-Nicolas d’Aliermon, Height 800 mm, circa 1810
A monumental Empire-style pendulum clock with digital display "Pendule à Circles de Tournant" and half hour strike "Zeus on the throne - the highest and most powerful of the Olympian gods" Case: matt gilded bronze; rectangular base lavishly decorated with acanthus and foliate scrolls, stylized winged lions on the four corners. Block-shaped polished structure with central semicircular dial and relief in the centre of the base: the young Nereid Thetis with a lion at a smouldering altar, looking up imploringly at the imposing Zeus on the throne. Zeus is holding a staff in his hand and at his feet is an eagle with outstretched wings - the attribute of Zeus. To his left are a cornucopia and a large, lidded vase with the inscription "DESTIN" ("destiny"). Dial: vertically rotating semi-circular, silvered chapter ring with Roman numerals. Movm.: round brass full plate movement, firegilt, 1 hammer / 1 bell, 2 barrels, anchor escapement, count wheel, short pendulum.
A nearly identical pendulum clock is kept in the Castle Fasanerie in Fulda and in the collection of the "Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon" in Dresden. Illustrated and described in: H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, "Vergoldete Bronzen", vol. I, p. 401, fig. 5.18.28.
The dignity and the gravity of the scene represent the artistic thinking of the time perfectly. Great value was laid on representation and ornamentation, straightforwardness, severity and solemnness - all of which were intended to demonstrate greatness and power. This is why so many artists of the time adopted the theme of Zeus on his throne, the most famous example being the picture "Jupiter (Zeus) and Thetis" of 1811 by neoclassical painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres; it is today in the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence in France. The painting conveys perfectly the contrast between the powerful god and the petite and delicate nymph; the subject is inspired by an episode in Homer’s Iliad, where the sea nymph Thetis begs Jupiter (Zeus) to save the life of her son Achilles during the Trojan War.
Louis-Stanislas Lenoir-Ravrio (1783-1846) was the adopted son of famous bronzer André-Antoine Ravrio (1759-1814), who counted Napoleon I amongst his wealthy clientele. After the death of his father, Louis-Stanislas-Ravrio Lenoir took over the workshop at Rue des Filles St. Thomas in Paris. In 1819 he was awarded the silver medal of the Salon, which demonstrated his excellent reputation and the quality of his work. In the words of a contemporary critic, "M. Lenoir-Ravrio enjoys a very good reputation... Everything produced by this manufactory is exquisitely tasteful."
Estimate 38,000 - 45,000 €
Price Realised 43,400 €
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