Clock (pendule à console)

Maker: Clockmaker: probably Jean-Philippe Gosselin (French, recorded as master in Paris 1717, died 1766)

Maker: Case maker: Jean-Joseph de Saint Germain (French, 1719–1791)

Date: ca. 1750

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Case: bronze, formerly gilded, silvered or lacquered; dial: white enamel, with black numerals; movement: brass and steel

Dimensions: Overall: 16 × 12 in. (40.6 × 30.5 cm)

Classification: Horology

Credit Line: Bequest of Ogden Mills, 1929

Accession Number: 37.160.9


Ornamental bronzes—which are easily cast from molds and made to simulate solid gold or, occasionally, solid silver by the application of thin layers of precious metals—were ubiquitous in the décor and furnishings of an eighteenth-century French palace, townhouse, or château. This clock, signed by one of the most admired bronze founder-chasers, Jean-Joseph de Saint Germain, has lost all of its original gilding but preserves the undulating scrolls interspersed with floral motifs that are characteristic of French rococo design at its liveliest.

[Clare Vincent, 2007]