Long-case Musical Clock

Object Details


Long-case Musical Clock


Clock movement by Jean-François Dominicé (French, 1694 - after 1754)

musical movement by Michel Stollenwerck (German, about 1700 - 1768, master 1746)

clock case attributed to Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (French, 1639 - 1715)

possibly after designs by Gilles-Marie Oppenord (French, 1672 - 1742)

with later alterations also after designs by Oppenord

clock movement repair & face & hands replaced by Pierre-Bazile Lepaute (French, 1750 - 1843)




Paris, France (Place created)


about 1712


Veneered with brass and tortoise shell on oak carcass: bronze mounts, enameled metal; glass


266.7 x 104.1 x 39.4 cm (105 x 41 x 15 1/2 in.)

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Through both the decoration and mechanism, this clock and its lavishly ornamented case illustrate the latest scientific discoveries at the beginning of the 1700s. The four continents known at this time--Africa, Europe, Asia, and America--adorn the corners of the case. The area below the dial is fitted with a brass grille engraved with geometric designs and allegorical symbols corresponding to five of the seven planets known at the beginning of the 1700s: Saturn (Time), Mars (War), Mercury, Venus (Love), and Jupiter.

The clock and pedestal were originally separate pieces. At some point, Gilles-Marie Oppenord transformed them from a clock on a pedestal (probably made by his father, Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt) to a long-case clock, which kept time more accurately. Craftsmen placed the pendulum and weights of the later movement into a pedestal base and cut an opening into the front to show the pendulum's swing. They then added additional bronze mounts to mask the alterations and to further decorate the piece.

Jean-François Dominicé created the clock's movement. Michel Stollenwerck created the musical movement.


Possibly Vincent Donjeux (Paris, France) [sold, Paris, April 29, 1793, no. 562]

Peter Burrell, 1st Lord Gwydir, 1754 - 1820 (Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, England), by inheritance to Peter Burrell, 2nd Lord Gwydir.

- 1829

Peter Burrell, 2nd Lord Gwydir, 1782 - 1865 [sold, Christie's, London, March 11-12, 1829, lot 103, to Samuel Fogg, London]

William Allenye Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Exeter, by inheritance to Henry George Brownlow.

- 1888

Henry George Brownlow, 4th Marquess of Exeter (Burghley House, Cambridgeshire, England) [sold, Christie's, London, June 7-8, 1888, lot 261, to Charles Davis, London]

Cornelius Vanderbilt II, 1843 - 1899 (New York City, New York), by inheritance to his daughter Gladys Moore Vanderbilt.

- 1971

Gladys Moore Vanderbilt (Countess Laszlo Széchényi), 1886 - 1965 (New York City, New York and The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1926-1927) [sold by her heirs in 1971 to Rosenberg and Stiebel, Inc. New York]

1971 - 1972

Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. (New York City, New York), sold through French and Company to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.

Louis XIV at the Getty (June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016
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    Audio: Long-case Clock