Mantel clock in a vase shape surrounded by two Graces and a Putto


France, Louis XVI period
White marble, chased and gilt bronze
Enamelled dial signed Tavernier à Paris


France, Louis XVI period
White marble, chased and gilt bronze
Enamelled dial signed Tavernier à Paris

This clock rests on six small spinning tops chased and gilt bronze feet, in foliage, that support the oval marble base, with different levels, slightly protruding and with grooves, close to the terrace.
This part is adorned with a pierced and gilt bronze frieze decorated with foliated and flowery scrolls running all around the piece and inscribed between two strips. On the first recess, there is a belt of two twisted cords and, higher up near the groove, a row of pearls.
On a small rectangular counter base with concave angles bordered by another row of smaller pearls rests an imposing moulded ovoid vase on a pedestal. The vase is flanked by two chased and gilt bronze Graces, each standing and bare, partially covered by a drapery. Their hair is embellished with pearls and flowers. The lower part of the vase is decorated with alternating radiant patterns of candles and flutes. The figures extend their arms towards a winged putto that lies on simulated clouds at the top of the vase, from which two large garlands of flowers and foliage escape on either side, next to a torch burning among other stylised clouds.
In the centre of the vase is the dial signed by Tavernier à Paris, inscribed in a chased bezel indicating the hours in Arabic numerals by two pierced and gilt bronze hands.
The pedestal is adorned with a leafy heart-grape frieze resting on a rectangular base with a gilt bronze plinth. On the floor, on either side of the marble section, rest an arch and a quiver as well as a flaming torch and a wreath of flowers.

The theme of love
The second half of the 18th century was marked by a strong craze for the theme of love, often treated by the most famous sculptors of the period such as Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Étienne Maurice Falconet, Augustin Pajou, Jean-Jacques Caffieri or Louis-Simon Boizot and Claude-Michel Clodion. This theme is also very present in the decorative arts. Indeed, some famous sculptors regularly provided models to the bronze-makers which were then integrated into artworks like here.
In the 18th century, particularly during the reign of Louis XVI, there are a large number of clocks associating young women of idealized beauty with a figure of a small putto. The sensual and delicate aesthetics, the harmonious movement of the figures and the beauty of the chasing of these bronzes, combined with the whiteness of the marble, make this mantel clock a particularly refined example of this phenomenon.

Jean-Pierre Tavernier (1714-1795)
Received Master in 1746, Jean-Pierre Tavernier was installed in Paris, rue de Buci. Highly renowned for his watches, he sold clocks, using cases by Balthazar Lieutaud and the bronze-maker François Rémond. Among his client was the Count of Caylus.

Good overall condition

Additional information

Dimensions 20 × 37 × 47,5 cm