Joseph-Léonard Roques à Paris / Workshop Francois Vion, Paris, Height 250 mm, circa 1770
An extremely rare and important Louis XVI bronze pendulum clock: “Grinning Lion”, with half hour and hour strike. Some details indicate that the bronze case was produced in the workshop of Francois Vion. Case: cast bronze, gilded and carved. Rectangular base with meander frieze and four diagonally positioned fluted feet, sides with laurel garlands. A grinning patinated bronze lion stands on the diamond-patterned base plate; he wears a saddle pad on which he carries a barrel shaped clock crowned by a vase, fluted bezel. Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, signed, firegilt Louis XVI hands. Movm.: round brass full plate movement, 1 hammer, 1 bell, count wheel, silk string suspension.
The execution of the work matches - except for the frieze on the base - a draft from the workshop of Francois Vion and Pierre-Antoine Foullets in Paris, dating from around 1770. We know of several copies of the model, which are privately owned. One example of Vion’s pendulum clock stood under a bell jar in a closet near the patio at the Palais Bourbon, which at the time belonged to the Prince of Condé. The cast for the lion clock cost 123 livres, plus 66 livres for the gilding and 79 if diamonds were used for the dial; the total came to 268 livres. Source: Ottomeyer/Proechel, "Vergoldete Bronzen", Munich 1986, p. 192ff
Joseph-Léonard Roques was a pupil of A. Magny and C.S. Passemant in Paris. For Passemant he produced the "globes mouvants" the French king was given as a present by the Marquis de Marigny in 1759 and which can be seen in the Musée de l'Observatoire today. Roques also created the famous "pendule de la création du monde", that is today held by the Musée National de Versailles. He was appointed Horloger du Roi and received permission to move into a flat at the Louvre in the "Bâtiment de la Colonnade". He became a master after the death of C.S. Passemant, which allowed him to freely conduct his own business. Amongst his clientele he counted members of the French royal house such as the Comte de Provence and the daughters of Louis XV. Lit.: J.D. Augarde, Les ouvriers du temps, Geneva 1996; p. 394-396 (biographical information). H.L. Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers français, Paris; p. 572
Estimate 22,000 - 32,000 €
Price Realised 26,100 €
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