A Louis XVI mantel clock symbolising Sorrow after a design by Vion

A Louis XVI gilt bronze and white marble clock after a design by François Vion,
the dial and the movement signed Ferdinand Berthoud,
the chiming spring signed Richard septembre 1785

Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807)

Height: 36 cm. (14 ¼ in.)  Width: 28.6 cm. (11 ¼ in.)   Depth: 15.9 cm. (6 ¼ in.)

Comparative Literature

This model is attributed to François Vion on the basis of his design (no. 31), a project for a mantel office on the theme of Sorrow, now conserved in the Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques-Doucet, Paris, reproduced in H. Ottomeyer & P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, vol. I, Munich: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986, p. 247, no. 4.6.9. A clock signed Charles Le Roy is described and reproduced ibid., p. 247, no. 4.6.10.

The comte d’Artois owned a clock of this model which was supplied by Lepaute in 1777 for the bedroom of his principle apartments in the palais du Temple in Paris.

C.Cardinal, Ferdinand Berthoud 1727-1807: Horloger mécanicien du Roi et de la Marine, La Chaux-de-Fonds: Musée International d’Horlogerie, 1984


Other Examples:

  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, signed Meyer
  • Musée Carnavalet, signed Lepaute
  • Musée Nissim de Camondo, with a later dial
  • Château de Versailles, Petit Trianon, Marie-Antoinette’s boudoir, signed Lépine
  • Legion of Honour Museum, San Francisco, signed Barancourt