List Price £45,000
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By Baccarat (French, founded 1764)
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This exceptional piece is known as a Fleur d’Hélianthe, or Sunflower, mantel clock. The clock case is by the celebrated French crystal manufacturers Baccarat, while the clockworks are by the important French firm Planchon.
The case is modelled as a sunflower held in an ovoid shaped crystal vase. The crystal vase is delicately etched with floral sprays and is a superb example of trompe l’oeil: it is all too easy to believe that the vase is hollow, and that the stem of the sunflower is suspended in water. The vase is raised on a naturalistically rendered quadrangular ormolu base modelled with pinecones and flowers.
From the top of the vase springs the patinated metal sunflower spray: deftly rendered branches and leaves rise to the face of the clock, which is ringed with a corona of thin gilt metal petals. The central bronze dial is inscribed with Arabic numeral hour marks, and the time is indicated by the movement of a small bug around the circumference.
The movement is signed for Planchon of Paris, while the underside of the ormolu base is signed for Baccarat.
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