France, Louis XVI period
Chased and gilt bronze
Carrara white marble
The enamelled dial is signed Deribaucourt
André-Alexandre Deribaucourt, master clockmaker in 1770
After a drawing by Antoine Foullet (circa 1710-1775)
- Antoine Foullet, Small Prudence clock, circa 1760, bedroom of the “Grand Duke” or secretary room, Pavlovsk Palace, Saint-Petersburg (inv. 1389-IV)
- Unknown, Clock: Prudence or Cleopatra, circa 1780, Louvre museum (inv. OA 6625)
Presumably identical examples, 18th century collections:
- A similar clock went on sale in the collections of the Count of Merle on March 1st, 1784, p 108, lot 217: “A clock, striking the hours and half, by Baillon, accompanied by a figure of a seated woman, well draped, holding a mirror in one hand, a snake in the other, and leaning on the clock ; the whole placed on a grooved plinth, a woman’s mask, squares and laurel garlands and a lion’s muzzle in gilt bronze on a double blackened wooden plinth decorated with roses, mouldings and balls: height 12 inches 4 lines”
- An identical clock is also described in the inventory after death drawn up in 1772 of Jean-Baptiste Baillon, valet de chambre-horloger ordinaire of the dauphine Marie-Antoinette
This desk clock in chased and gilt bronze represents the allegory of Prudence in the shape of a woman, dressed in the antique style, extending and leaning against a fluted terminal supporting the dial. In her right hand, she holds a mirror in which she looks at herself as a snake is wrapped around her left hand.
The overall rests on a plinth framed by a matte border adorned with two rosettes. A woman’s head surrounded by garlands of foliage decorates its centre. This plinth rests on a white marble counter-base adorned with a putti in relief playing with a garland of flowers around the column base, framed with roses. The overall rests on spinning top legs. The white enamelled dial with Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic numerals for the minutes, is signed Deribaucourt à Paris.