Barometer on Bracket

Object Details

Title:

Barometer on Bracket

Artist/Maker(s):

Case attributed to Charles Cressent (French, 1685 - 1768, master 1719)

Bracket attributed to Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain (French, 1719 - 1791, master 1748)

Maker of lost movement: Digue (French)

Maker of modern movement: Unknown

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1755; barometer mechanism about 1933

Medium:

Gilt bronze, enameled metal; wood carcass; glass

Dimensions:

129.4 x 45.7 x 18.4 cm (50 15/16 x 18 x 7 1/4 in.)

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Since the wooden interior of the gilt bronze case has been cut away to provide space for the swing of a pendulum, scholars know that this case originally held a clock movement. These alterations date to the 1930s, when the Duveen brothers, antiques dealers, converted it into a barometer to form a pair with a similar clock, now also in the Museum's collection.

The cabinetmaker and sculptor Charles Cressent made the case. In the corner of the Getty Museum's pastel painting by Maurice-Quentin de la Tour from around 1740 sits a similar model in the form of a clock standing on a cabinet.

One of the most important ébénistes of the 1700s, Cressent originally trained as a sculptor and liked to design and make his own gilt bronze mounts. This practice, which broke strict guild regulations, brought large fines and forced him to hold several sales of his works. He had a roster of wealthy patrons but his passion for collecting paintings kept him continually in debt. Cressent himself wrote a detailed description of a model for this barometer in an auction catalogue from 1757.

Provenance

B. Fabre & Fils (Paris, France)

1933

Duveen Brothers, Inc. (New York City, New York)

by 1933 - 1970

Anna Thomson Dodge, American, born Scotland, 1871 - 1970 (Rose Terrace, Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan)

1970 - 1971

Estate of Anna Thomson Dodge, American, born Scotland, 1871 - 1970 [sold, Christie's, London, June 24, 1971, lot 40 (together with 71.DB.115) to the J. Paul Getty Museum]

Bibliography

Duveen and Co. A Catalogue of Works of Art of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of Anna Thomson Dodge (Detroit, 1933), non-paginated entry, ill.

Dell, Theodore. "The Gilt-Bronze Cartel Clocks of Charles Cressent." Burlington Magazine (April 1967), pp. 210-17.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 187, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. French Eighteenth-Century Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu, 1976), pp. 44-51, nos. 8-9.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), p. 47, no. 61.

Miller, Carole Ann Lyons. "Clockwise Special Report: The J. Paul Getty Museum." Clockwise (August 1979), pp. 15-21, fig. 9.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 38, no. 82.

Bremer-David, Charissa et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), pp. 86-87, no. 134.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 48-57, no. 7.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle (Paris: Editions de l'Amateur, 1997), p. 92, fig. B.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 70-71, no. 138.