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Lot No. 405
Lot No. 405
Estimate  12,000 - 16,000 €
This is a lot of the last auction!

Paris, Height 320 mm

, circa 1800

A rare Directoire gilt and patinated bronze "Pendule Au Bon Sauvage" with half hour/hour strike

Case: white marble, firegilt and patinated bronze. Dial: enamel. Movm.: circular brass full plate movement, 1 hammer / 1 bell, anchor escapement, count wheel, short pendulum with silk string suspension.

The round enamel dial sits in a stepped, white marble case and is surmounted by a large footed bowl that is filled with reeds; the dial is flanked by a male and a female figure, both wearing loincloths and feather headdresses. The female on the left holds a birdcage in her hands, the male figure on the right holds a dove, both sit on truncated griotte rouge marble columns. The front of the base is decorated with applied bas-relief ornamentation showing two winged horses with fishtails as well as with a relief frieze showing different putti.

The motif of a bird being freed from its cage was considered an erotic symbol in the 17th and 18th century and repeated in a great many works of art of this period. Unusual here is the fact that both figures are nude, which was traditionally the prerogative of deities. The nudity is justified by the imaginary "noble savage", thought to be living a free life in a paradisiacal land. This dream of the Paradise lost was a favourite concept of this romantic era.
The design is inspired by the classic pyramidal composition of the pendulum clocks in the late 18th century. The figures on the truncated griotte rouge marble columns are actually exchangeable, they have little or no relation to the clock itself. The only difference to traditional, European characters lies in the patinated finishing of the figures and the individual attributes such as the feather headdresses and the loincloths.
Case: very good
Dial: very good, slightly chipped
Movm.: very good, capable of running

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