Wall Clock

Object Details

Title:

Wall Clock

Artist/Maker:

Case maker Jacques Caffieri (French, 1678 - 1755, master 1714)
Movement maker Julien Le Roy (French, 1686 - 1759, master 1713)
Dial enamelled by Antoine-Nicolas Martinière (French, 1706 - 1784, master 1720)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France, Europe (Place created)

Date:

about 1747

Medium:

Gilt bronze and enamelled metal

Object Number:

72.DB.45

Dimensions:

77.5 × 40.6 × 11.4 cm (30 1/2 × 16 × 4 1/2 in.)

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At least three specialized craftsmen collaborated to produce this elaborate gilt bronze wall clock. The clockmaker Julien Le Roy, who signed the clock face and the movement, made the interior movement mechanisms. The bronze caster Jacques Caffieri cast and gilded the ornate case, which would have been the most costly part to produce. In this rare example, he engraved his signature on a cartouche below the dial. Antoine-Nicolas Martinière, the enameler, painted the numbers on the clock face and fired the whole dial. He inscribed the back of it with his name and the date 1747.

A detailed inventory of Jacques Caffieri's workshop made in 1747 describes a clock similar to this one, decorated with the figures of Minerva and Cupid holding a scythe. Minerva, the patron of learning and the arts, wears a helmet and armor and perches on a cloud on the top of the dial. The winged figure of Cupid, probably once holding a scythe in his hand, symbolizes Love conquering Time.

Bibliography

Miller, Carole Ann Lyons. "Clockwise Special Report: The J. Paul Getty Museum." Clockwise (August 1979), pp. 15-21, fig. 10.

Smith, Alan, ed. The Country Life International Dictionary of Clocks (New York: Putnam, 1979), p. 237, fig. 2.

Ottomeyer, Hans, and Peter Pröschel, eds. Vergoldete Bronzen: Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus. Vol 1, Katalog der Bronzearbeiten (Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986), p. 114, fig. 2.5.2, ill.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 40, no. 87.

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), p. 88, no. 137.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 86-91, no. 12.

Baarsen, Reinier. Paris 1650-1900: Decorative Arts in the Rijksmuseum (New Haven: Yale University Press, with Rijksmuseum, 2013), pp. 127, 129n6.