Description

    An Important French Ebonized Wood, Stained Horn and Gilt Bronze Regulator Clock

    The case attributed to Andre-Charles Boulle, Paris, France
    The works by Archard, London, England
    Circa 1720
    Ebonized wood, stained horn, brass, gilt bronze, horn, enamel and glass
    Marks: the movement: Archard, 70 Soh. Audley St., London
    84.5 in. high x 17.25 in. wide x 11 in. deep

    The gilt bronze dial embossed with lambrequin design and white enamel reserves with blue Roman numerals, contained within a cartouche-shaped hood with masks to the upper side; the waisted center section with glazed pendulum aperture and Apollo mask; the tapered rectangular lower part raised on a plinth base fitted with gilt bronze hairy leaf-cast paw feet, centered by a mask of Bacchus; the whole outlined with foliate gilt bronze borders and decorated with panels of pierced quatrefoil on a ground of stained tortoiseshell, surrounded by ebonized borders outlined with banding. The works striking the hours on one bell and quarter-chiming on eight bells, with Apollo mask pendulum revealed through glazed aperture.

    In its overall form and proportions, this clock is a simplified variant of the magnificent and sculptural regulator supplied by Andre-Charles Boulle (appointed Ebeniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi in 1672) to Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse now in the collections of the Louvre. Another regulator by Boulle of similar form and decoration was formerly in the Assemble Nationale, Paris, with a movement by Lebon and supplied to Cardinal de Chabot for the Hotel de Rohan. More recently, a regulator attributed to Boulle with similar brass-inlaid stained horn panels was sold from the Wildenstein Collection (Christies London, December 2005).

    Of particular note is the pierced quatrefoil pattern on this example, which relates directly to a drawing in the collection of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris which has been attributed to Boulle. This same pattern appears on the Wildenstein clock as well as a long-case clock that has been traced to Prince Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Conde for the Petit Luxembourg bought directly from Boulle (sold Christie's New York, November 2000).

    Prior to being purchased by Cornelius Vanderbilt II several additions and enhancements were made to this regulator. Specifically, a gilt bronze figure of a cherub and rooster was added to the crown of the hood, as well as the masks at the upper sides of the hood.

    Provenance:
    Cornelius Vanderbilt II Collection, New York and later The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island
    by descent to Gladys, Countess Szechenyi, sold Weschler's, Washington DC, February 1973
    Private Collection, Dallas, Texas


    Estimate: $120,000 - $150,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Normal signs of wear as appropriate with age. Gilt bronze masks to side of bonnet added at a later date. Pendulum mask possibly of later date.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    19th-20th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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