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Clock on Bracket
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Jean Romilly, clockmaker; Case attributed to Charles Cressent, designer
French, Paris, about 1758
Gilt bronze, enameled metal
50 1/4 x 18 1/2 x 8 in.
71.DB.115

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This wall clock design with an ornate gilt bronze case and bracket was popular in France; artisans produced such examples for nearly twenty years through the 1740s and 1750s. 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, on top of a cabinet. The Getty Museum's example can be dated to about 1758 because one of the movement's springs is inscribed with this date.

Scholars believe that Charles Cressent, one of the greatest ébénistes of the 1700s, designed the elaborate gilt bronze and enameled metal case of this clock. Stringent guild regulations prohibited Cressent from gilding and chasing this design himself as he was a cabinetmaker and not a member of the bronze caster's guild. However, by veneering the wooden sides of this clock with metal and then attaching the gilt bronze mounts on top, he could successfully avoid prosecution.


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Side of Clock