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Style Japonism, Chinoiserie / Ref.11159

L'ESCALIER DE CRISTAL, Vase Clock with Dragon Mount, after 1885

Width: 12'' ¼  31cm
Height: 22''   56cm
Depth: 10'' ¼  26cm

France, 19th century

This highly original bronze vase clock was created for Escalier de Cristal at the end of the 19th century. The clock movement is signed “Japy Brothers & Co”.

Founded around 1808 by Widow Désarnaud, this famous house was taken over by brothers Georges and Henri Pannier at the end of the 19th century. They actively contributed to the spread of the Japonism trend, of which this work is a fine example, while maintaining the high quality that made the store renowned.

The decoration of the piece, of great craftsmanship, is inspired by Japanese iconography and revolves around the theme of the dragon. The clock adopts the form of a vase resting on a gilt bronze mount shaped like a threatening dragon at the front, and clouds of smoke at the back. The body is adorned with low-relief motifs reminiscent of Japanese Meiji-era panels. An Asian warrior is depicted preparing to battle a dragon. At the top, a polylobed dial set against a matching motif displays numbers inscribed in Japanese calligraphy, along with two hands forming a dragon whose shape constantly evolves with the hours. The piece is crowned with a Foo dog stretching on its front paws.

The quality of execution and the chiseling of the base demonstrate the mastery of the bronzesmith who created the object.

The vase clock is listed in one of Henry Pannier’s notebooks under the designation “Crystal vase with dragon mount forming clock”. The sketch shows an undeniable resemblance to our piece. The notebook also indicates that only two vase clocks were sold: one in crystal and the other in bronze.

Price: on request

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