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Style Neo-gothic / Ref.10956

Carlo MAROCHETTI et Louis-Marie MORIS (attributed to), Troubadour-style Clock Set

Width: 9'' ½  24cm
Height: 28'' ⅜  72cm
Depth: 10'' ⅝  27cm

France, 19th century

This clock set in silver and gilt bronze was created by Carlo Marochetti and Louis-Marie Moris in the first half of the 19th century.

At the center, an enameled clock framed by fleur-de-lis adorns a richly crafted base; it is surmounted by a bust representing a king of France. On either side, two four-branched candlesticks top two figures of armored warriors, one with a crossbow and sword, the other with an arquebus and shield.

The date 1429 engraved on the side of the rock on which the left soldier stands situates the work at the end of the Hundred Years’ War, which saw the restoration of King Charles VII's authority over much of French territory.

This set is in the “troubadour” style, characteristic of works inspired by the arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in the 19th century. This form of historicism incorporates elements from different periods: despite the 1429 date, their armors already belong to the Renaissance era; arquebuses were not used until the last quarter of the 15th century. Moreover, the beards of the characters are more reminiscent of the ancient kings of the Franks than the Valois of the early 15th century.

A comparable Napoleon III-era set by the same artists was auctioned at Christie’s in 2008 and was exhibited by the Chadelaud gallery at the 24th Biennale des Antiquaires in 2012. The clock face is very similar, and the anterior foot of the structure of our clock is identical to the three feet supporting the clock of this second set. The soldiers on either side are also identical.

Born in Turin, a city that was then part of the French department of the Po, the sculptor Carlo Marochetti (1805-1867) was raised at the Château de Vaux-sur-Seine and in Paris. He studied in Rome but later returned to France. In 1848, he accompanied King Louis-Philippe into exile in England. Marochetti is renowned for his equestrian statues, including the monument to Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, in Turin, and the statue of Richard the Lionheart in front of the Palace of Westminster in London.

The sculptor Louis-Marie Moris (1818-1900), with whom Marochetti collaborated on this work, also created numerous equestrian statues, such as that of Francis I on horseback, among others. However, he can be particularly credited for the two armored warriors adorning the torchieres of both sets. Indeed, he also created a pair of warriors whose postures, armors, and weapons closely resemble those of the soldiers in the two aforementioned sets.