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Lot No. 406
Lot No. 406
Estimate  45,000 - 55,000 €
This is a lot of the last auction!

Auguste Wolff à Paris, Height 470 mm

, circa 1790

An important early gilt and patinated bronze "Pendule Au Bon Sauvage" with half hour/hour strike

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

The large, round enamel dial with Roman hours and Arabic minutes is housed in a drum-shaped case supported by a concave base. It has a wide bead and reel bezel and is flanked by two patinated bronze putti, gesturing animatedly. Each of them wears a loincloth of gold-coloured feathers, the figure on the left also wears a gold feather headdress. The putti are seated on a naturalistic, gold-patinated ground with roots and tree stumps. On top of the clock sits another, feather-clad putto, resting nonchalantly on a tree stump with a gold spear in his left hand and looking far into the distance.
The composition rests on a gold base on a white marble plinth supported by six gilt toupie feet with leaf decoration; it is shaped as a horizontal, stepped oval with rounded corners and a gently protruding centre part, with elaborate applied relief ornamentation – flowers, acanthus, laurel scrolls and garlands.

The black patinated figures against the gold framing of the case and the white marble create a striking effect - the bronze artists at the time regularly made use of such strong, contrasting colours to lend the scene a more powerful and compelling impact.

This piece is a very early example of a "Pendule Au Bon Sauvage" with a figural scene fully in the tradition of the fine arts. The depiction of the spirited putti is inspired by the ideals of European sculpting and were a popular motif that went far back in time. The black patinated skin tone and the accents set by the gold-coloured attributes such as feather headdress, loincloth and spear alone are enough to evoke an exotic ambiance and portray the charming, nude boys as "noble savages".
Case: very good
Dial: very good
Movm.: very good, capable of running

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