List Price £15,000
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By Delafontaine (French, founded late 18th Century)
The important French foundry, Delafontaine, crafted this beautiful bronze mantel clock, which features exquisitely-cast sculptural winged putti.
The clock features a stepped rectangular gilt bronze (ormolu) base, which is set on eight toupie feet. This base is finely decorated with foliate bands and relief panels, depicting a putto drawing a classical sculpture of a torso, and a second putto sculpting a classical female head. The panel frames are ornamented with three-dimensional flowers, and their tops edged with egg and dart patterns. The centre of the base steps back to form a gilt bronze plinth, which serves as the clock case. This is mounted with a circular white enamel dial, featuring both Roman Numerals and Arabic Numbers, and signed, ‘DELAFONTAINE/ FT DE BRONZES/ A PARIS’. The dial is set within a floral cartouche, with a foliage swag suspended from it. Two patinated bronze winged putti top the shoulders of the base. Each putto sits on a gilt bronze stool, with a pair of gilt bronze books on the ground before him. The top of the clock case forms a desk, upon which is placed a gilt bronze model of a globe, a sundial, laurel branch, a collection of books, and a writing scroll.
This mantel clock was crafted by Delafontaine, a leading bronze foundry in France in the 19th Century. The clock was most likely produced under the direction of Auguste-Maximilien Delafontaine, the grandson of the company's founder, Jean-Baptiste-Maximilien. Delafontaine was the main competitor to the Barbedienne factory, which was active in Paris at this time. The Delafontaine foundry cast beautiful decorative art objects, which were based on designs by famous 19th-Century sculptors, such as Antoine-Louis Bayre, James Praider and Mathurin Moreau. Items created by Delafontaine are now held in major private and public art collections, including the Louvre in Paris.
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