The J. Paul Getty Museum

Mantel Clock

Object Details

Title:

Mantel Clock

Artists/Makers:

Clock movement by Étienne-Augustin Le Roy (French, 1737 - 1792, master 1758)

and case by Etienne Martincourt (French, died after 1791, master 1762)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1772

Medium:

Gilt bronze; enameled metal; glass

Object Number:

73.DB.78

Dimensions:

71.1 × 59.7 × 32.4 cm (28 × 23 1/2 × 12 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

In 1790, this clock stood on the mantel of the salle du conseil (Council Room) of King of France Louis XVI (reigned 1774–1792) at the Tuileries Palace in Paris. With its allegorical figures of two scientific topics, it was an appropriate decoration for this setting.

To the left, a female figure representing Astronomy sits with a celestial globe, while on the right, Geography holds a loosely rolled map. Though, as is often the case with bronze objects, the clock is not signed, a drawing of this work still survives, signed by the bronze caster Étienne Martincourt. Charles Le Roy, whose name appears on the dial and the movement of the clock, died in 1771, but two springs are dated 1772. Le Roy's son Étienne-Augustin must have finished the movement and signed his father's name, following an accepted practice of the time.


Provenance
Provenance
by 1790 - 1792

French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (Château des Tuileries, Paris, France), nationalized by the revolutionary government, 1792.
Source: the clock appears in the May 1790 inventory of the château des Tuileries, Paris, France, in the salle du conseil.
Note: Though it first appears in the 1790 inventory, the clock could have been delivered to the Tuileries as early as 1772-1777.

1792 - after 1796

French government, Convention Nationale, Garde-Meuble National (transported to the hôtel de Coigny, Paris, France, August 1792; moved to the cabinet de physique at the Louvre in 1794; delivered to the Parisian clockmaker Robert Robin in 1795; in the palais du Luxembourg in 1796)
Source: letters citing archival sources from the Archives Nationales, Paris, copies in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts department, J. Paul Getty Museum.
Note: In 1832, a general inventory of all royal residences was completed and new numbers placed on all objects. This clock does not possess a number dating to that initiative, so it may have been sold before then.

- 1861

Probably Léon Gabriel Leduc, marquis de Saint-Clou, French, 1798 - 1873 [sold, Objets d'Art et de Curiosité, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 25-26, 1861, lot 1, for 7,000 livres]
Note: Though his name is not printed on the cover of the sale catalogue, two different copies have "marquis de Saint-Clou[d]" inscribed on the cover.

- 1973

Kraemer et Cie, French, founded 1875 (Paris, France), sold through French and Company, New York, to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
The J. Paul Getty Collection of French Decorative Arts (October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973) (displayed June 7, 1973 through August 31, 1973)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973
Time Remembered (November 8 to December 22, 1977)
  • Downey Museum of Art, November 8 to December 22, 1977
French Clocks in North American Collections (November 2, 1982 to January 30, 1983)
  • The Frick Collection (New York), November 2, 1982 to January 30, 1983
Bibliography
Bibliography

Frel, Jiri, Burton B. Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 83, ill.

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. 165, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Clocks: French Eighteenth-Century Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), pp. 64-67, no. 13.

Frel, Jiri, Burton Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), p. 89, ill.

Anderson, Tom, and Anton Noordanus. Time Remembered, Part I: Antique Clocks, exh. cat. (Downey: Downey Museum of Art, 1977), unpaginated.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), pp. 70, 86, no. 94.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), pp. 115-16, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), pp. 110, 114, ill.

Edey, Winthrop. French Clocks in North American Collections (New York: Frick Collection, 1982), pp. 67-68, no. 63.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 169, ill.

Ottomeyer, Hans, and Peter Pröschel, eds. Vergoldete Bronzen: Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus. Vol 1, Katalog der Bronzearbeiten (Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986), p. 181, fig. 3.7.10.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 41-42, no. 90.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 2nd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), p. 169.

Augarde, Jean-Dominique. "L'Ameublement du Palais Directorial du Luxembourg." In De Versailles à Paris: le destin des collections royales, exh. cat. Jacques Charles, ed. (Paris: Centre Culturel du Panthéon, 1989), pp. 140, 146, fig. 1.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 186, ill.

Vittet, Jean. "Les pendules de la chambre de Louis XV à Compiègne et de son cabinet du Conseil à Fontainebleau." Revue du Louvre 42, no. 2 (June 1992), p. 34n21.

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. 91, no. 142.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 114-23, no. 16.

Augarde, Jean-Dominique. Les Ouvriers du Temps, La Pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier (Geneva: Antiquorum Editions, 1996), pp. 147, 238, 241, fig. 188.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 4th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 220, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 105, no. 82.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 220, 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), pp. 72-73, no. 142.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), pp. 242-43, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 300, ill.

Baulez, Christian. "Martincourt et Riesener: Une collaboration fructueuse et méconnue." L'Estampille/L'Objet d'art 531 (February 2017), pp. 59-60, ill.