Model for a Mantel Clock

Object Details

Title:

Model for a Mantel Clock

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1700

Medium:

Terracotta; enameled metal

Dimensions:

78.7 x 52.1 x 24.1 cm (31 x 20 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.)

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A craftsman would have made this full-sized model of clay and pressed in the number plaques, then shown it to a client for approval before creating the working clock in wood, brass, and gilt bronze. Very few French eighteenth-century furniture models exist today; they are all small in scale and made of wax, wood, and painted paper. These other models were nearly all made for royal commissions in the second half of the 1700s, particularly for the French Queen, Marie-Antoinette.

This object is the earliest full-size model known to exist and may well have been made for the approval of Louis XIV. Beneath the clock dial, Pluto abducts Proserpine in a chariot drawn by four horses, which caused the onset of winter in Greek mythology. Although a suitable theme for changing seasons and telling time, no other known clock bears such a representation.

Bibliography

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Hawley, H. "Book Reviews." The Decorative Arts Newsletter (Summer 1977), p. 13.

Miller, Carole Ann Lyons. "Clockwise Special Report: The J. Paul Getty Museum." Clockwise (August 1979), pp. 15-21, fig. 1.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 161.

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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. 82-83, no. 128.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 14-19, no. 3.

Augarde, Jean-Dominique. Les Ouvriers du Temps, La Pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier (Geneva, 1996), pp. 165-66, fig. 166.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 192-93.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 61, no. 45.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 192-93, ill.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 66, no. 129.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008) p. 369 (app. no. 6).