Lot No. 422 (92nd Auction)
Stephen Rimbault, London, Height 490 mm, circa 1770

A very attractive George III. bracket clock with Carillon quarter hour / hour self strike, musical movement with two tunes and three automatons. The dial can be attributed to the painter to the English court Johann Zoffany (1733-1810)
Case: mahogany veneer and ormolu mountings; moulded bronze base on four bracket feet, bevelled corners with foliate and caryatid fittings, facet glazed front, sides and back door; hipped and moulded rococo style pediment with central applied rocaille and laurel ornamentation, four corners with gilt bronze pine cone finials, curled handle. Dial: brass, eccentric chapter ring with inlaid radial Roman hours, frosted centre with engraved signature plaque and window for the date at "6"; lever for choosing the musical tune at "3", lever "N/S" to set strike/not strike at "9", blued steel hands; gilt bronze mounts with rocaille and flower ornamentation in the spandrels. A cartouche-shaped upper part of a dial with automaton in a polychrome setting, with a group of people in contemporary dress enjoy an open air concert: a cello player and a viola player move their bows with each swing of the pendulum and a mother cradles her child in her arms. Movm.: signed rectangular brass full plate movement with very fine floral engraving, baluster movement pillars, 8 day power reserve, 3 x steel cord/fusee, 1 hammer/1 bell for hour strike, 8 bells/15 hammers for quarter strike and musical mechanism; the muscial movement plays one of two tunes at the hour. Large adjustable pin cylinder, short pendulum.

Stephen Rimbault
Stephen Rimbault (working 1744-88) was a famous clock maker of Huguenot descent, particularly noted for his 'twelve-tuned Dutchmen', clocks which played twelve tunes, with moving figures in front of decorated backgrounds. He did business in Great Andrew's Street, St Giles.

Johann Zoffany (1733-1810)
The miniature painting on the dial is attributed to the German painter Johann Zoffany; the style takes its inspiration from the elegant gallantries by Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) or Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721).

Johann Zoffany was one of the most renowned personalities in British art during the 18th century; he was most famous for his portraits of the royal family.
Zoffany was born in Frankfurt/Main, the son of a Bohemian architect to the court of the Princes of Thurn and Taxis in Frankfurt. Zoffany was a pupil of Francesco Solimena and later studied in Italy. He went to London at the age of 27, where he eventually became a protégé of famous actor David Garrick and painted mainly theatre motifs. Garrick introduced Zoffany to King George III, who commissioned him to create portraits of the royal family. The king was very fond of Zoffany’s style and nominated him for the Royal Academy of Art, which opened in the same year. When the king cancelled a commission in the 1770s because Zoffany had integrated non-nobles in the painting, he moved to Italy and lived in Florence for most of the time. He continued his success as a painter after another move in 1783 to Calcutta. Zoffany came back to London a rich man in 1789, but he never replicated his earlier success in England.

We know that Zoffany painted clock dials in the workshop of Stephen Rimbault for about six months after his arrival in England; he took his inspiration from the gallantries of Lancret or Watteau (see Penelope Treadwell "Johan Zoffany", Editor Paul Holberton, London, 2009).
Estimate  13,000 - 20,000 €

Price Realised  24,200 €
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