List Price £55,000
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By Dasson, Henry (French, 1825-1896)
This superb cartel clock, by one of the leading producers of gilt bronze goods of his time, features the remarkable inclusion of Chinoiserie style Chinese dragons.
This magnificent cartel clock, also known as a bracket clock, is by Henry Dasson, one of the finest producers of ormolu goods active in Paris during the later 19th century. Dasson is distinguished from contemporary ébénistes by his training as a sculptor: he began his career as a sculptor and producer of bronze sculptures, training and talent that carry through into the exceptional quality of the bronzes that adorn his furniture and, particularly, his clocks. The present cartel clock is a superb example of his work.
The clock is comprised of two parts: the lower bracket, and the cartel clock which the bracket supports. The clock case is of traditional violin form, with the shape reminiscent of the rocaille of the Rococo. The case is centred with an enamel dial comprised of individual cartouches set within a chased ormolu backing; each cartouche is inscribed with a Roman numeral hour mark, while the central circular enamel plaque is signed ‘HRY DASSON / A PARIS’.
The case surrounding the dial is superbly formed: foliate details abound, with grasping acanthus leaves clasping the edges of the scrolled feet and floral garlands draped over the case’s shoulders. The front and sides of the case are pierced with a floral lattice, revealing the ebonised wood backing below. The bottom of the case is centred with an idyllic classicised mask of Apollo, while the ornate crown of the case is surmounted by winged cherub finial.
The bracket is a superb example of bronze casting and finishing, a piece of sculpture in its own right. The floral bracket is centred with a classical mask, most likely of Boreas, the god of the north wind. Most remarkably, the void between the top of the bracket and the scrolled legs of the case is inset with twin Chinese dragons: a surprising and welcome example of the Chinoiserie in an otherwise decidedly French style clock.
In addition to the dial being signed, the bronze is signed ‘henry Dasson . 1882’.
Total: Height 136cm
Clock: Height 86cm, width 37cm, depth 18cm
Bracket: Height 50cm, width 38cm, depth 18cm
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