Antique French Ormolu Chinoiserie Automaton Mantel Clock Attributed to J.F.Houdin

Antique French Ormolu Chinoiserie Automaton Mantel Clock Attributed to J.F.Houdin
A rare french ormolu Chinoiserie automaton mantel clock. The mercury fire gilded ormolu case has elaborate bracket feet to the front, and fine ormolu mounts of anthemion to the front below the dial, whilst above are two very fine mounts depicting chinese dragons. Surmounting the case of the clock is a patinated bronze park scene, with ormolu benches, a table and flowers, with a railing to the front. The very finely cast scene to the back in ormolu depicts a chinese vista, with pagodas and trees. The see saw or merry go round, in cold painted bronze, and ormolu and four chinese men on the see saws. The silvered dial with roman numerals is surrounded by a very fine ormolu bezel. The two train silk suspension movement with outside countwheel strikes the hours and halfs on a bell. Unusually, the large springs allow the clock upto a month duration. The automaton movement, which is wound from the side is activated on the hour just before the bell strikes. It can also be activated via a lever to the side, if you want to show the automaton sequence without waiting for the clock to strike the hour. A very similar clock, with identical feet, mounts, bezel and dial, but with a different automaton and design on the top can be seen in 'Mystery, novelty and fantasy clocks' by Derek Roberts pp 214. We have seen this exact model in a museum in Russia, except for the Merry go round, it was a magician with cup and ball trick. Stamped on the back of the case 'J F', the clock is attributed to Jacques-Fran├žois Houdin, the father in law of Robert Houdin. A wonderful and rare clock, in superb condition. French circa 1825-1835. Height 20" length 12.5" and depth 7"

Stock Number: 5539

Origin: France

Price: SOLD

Availability: SOLD

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