Style Neo-gothic / Ref.16783
MARCHAND Léon and PIAT Frédéric-Eugène, Elegant silvered bronze and enamel cartel clock in the neo-Gothic style
Width: 11'' ¾ 30cm
Height: 45'' ⅝ 116cm
Silvered bronze, enamels.
Hanging from a neo-Gothic gargoyle, the clock’s lower section is decorated with a pair of Chimeras with spread wings that bring much elegance to the sculpture. The use of silvered bronze and enamel make the clock’s face especially striking. The delicate character of the enamelwork is also heightened by the complete mastery of the metalwork whose elegant scrolls have been chased with great skill. Added to the medieval inspiration of the decoration, the iconography represents a wide variety of fantastic images that include arabesques held by a haughty looking eagle that terminates in dragon heads set into a background of stylized leaves. The pinnacle of the cartel, of Gothic inspiration, is the finishing touch of the upward movement of this clock.
The harmony of the composition, the makeup of the structure and the masterful demonstration of stylistic fusion are characteristic of the work of the ornamental sculptor Frédéric-Eugène Piat, artistic director of the Marchand company. Léon Marchand was a bronzeworker and art book publisher whose enterprise was founded by his uncle in 1820. He catered to a rich clientele that wanted their interiors decorated with refined works of art and small bronzes that reproduced older sculptures (such as Houdon’s statue of Voltaire) or contemporary masters, such as Charles Cumberworth (1812-1852). Marchand showed his work at the exhibitions of his time where he often won prizes, including a First Class Medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1855. His success is due in great part to Piat whose collaboration he secured by an exclusive contract and which the official catalogue of the Universal Exhibition of 1862 hailed saying, “His work, which is always new and original, has put this artist on the highest rung among the industrial manufacturers of our era.”
One of their most famous creations was a perfume fountain, very similar to our clock, which was presented at the Universal Exhibition of 1867. One sees the same delicate arcs, Chimeras and pinnacle; only the clock’s face has been replaced by the fountain’s reservoir. The engraving of this fountain is incorporated in the illustrated catalogue of the Exhibition of 1867, thus emphasizing the great importance accorded to it by the jury who considered it the work of a master.
Size: H. 116 cm, W. l30 cm
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