A Louis XVI silvered and gilt lion mantel clock after a design by Vion
A Louis XVI gilt bronze, silvered and jewelled lion mantel clock
the dial signed BRILLE A PARIS – circa 1770
after a design by François Vion,
Height: 30.5 cm. (12 in.) Width: 17.4 cm. (6 ¾ in.) Depth: 9.6 cm. (3 ¾ in.)
The circular enamel dial with Roman numerals indicating the hours and Arabic numerals the minutes with pierced paste-diamond decorated hands. The circular movement has an anchor escapement and silk-thread suspension and strikes the hours and half-hours by means of an external count-wheel.
The model of this clock is based on a design by the bronzier, François Vion, which is no. 22 of a group conserved in the Bibliothèque Doucet, Paris (illustrated in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 193, no. 3.11.6).
The version presented here, with its partly silvered case decorated with paste diamonds, is very rare. Only two other examples are known, one in Pavlovsk Palace and anther sold by this gallery in 2002.
Examples entirely in gilt bronze include one from the Collection of the Prince de Condé, now in the Mobilier National, Paris (illustrated in XVIIIe aux XIXe siècles: Fastes du Pouvoir: Objets d’exception, Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 2007, pp. 18-19, no. 5); one in the Collection Diane (illustrated in A. and G. Wannenes, Les plus belles pendules françaises, Florence, Edizioni Polistampa, 2013, p. 295) and one reproduced in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, op. cit., p. 193, fig. 3.11.4.