The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Pedestal clock
  • Pedestal clock
  • Attributed to André-Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732)
  • Jacques-Augustin Thury (died 1739), Movement Maker
  • France
  • c. 1712 - 1720
  • Brass, turtleshell veneer, gilt bronze, oak, glass and enamel
  • Object size: 100.2 x 52 x 31 cm
  • Inscription: 'THURET'
    Inscription: 'Thuret A Paris' Engraved
  • F43
  • Large Drawing Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This clock is a model often supplied by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) and can be securely attributed to him. Veneered with première-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell, it is mounted with the gilt-bronze figures of Love Triumphing over Time. The movement is by Jacques-Augustin Thuret (horloger du Roi, 1694, d. 1739) who, like Boulle, had lodgings in the Louvre. It is closely related to the mantel clock made by Boulle for Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni (1667-1740) now in the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, which can be dated to c. 1712 and which also has a movement by Thuret. See also F41 in the Wallace Collection.
    The allegory of Love triumphing over Time was a popular motif for clocks made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Here the figure of Love at the top formerly held Time’s scythe in his left hand. The recumbent figure of Time derives from a model by the sculptor François Girardon (1628-1715). Boulle produced a group of these clocks, which can be dated between 1708 and 1720.
    The clock is supported by a pedestal (F52) which is closely linked to a design by Gilles-Marie Oppenord (1672-1742), an architect and designer who was employed, amongst other clients, by the Régent, Philippe, duc d'Orléans. A drawing of a long-case clock for the comte de Toulouse (c. 1718), attributed to Oppenord, shows a base very similar to the Wallace pedestal. The execution of the comte de Toulouse's clock, and of this pedestal, has been attributed to André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732).
    However, recent research suggests that the pedestal may not be from the Boulle workshop, but may be the work of Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (1639-1715), the father of the architect/designer. This is based on similarities between the mounts of this and other clock pedestals by Oppenordt, and on the very different 'feel' of the marquetry to that produced in the Boulle workshop. It may be that Boulle and Oppenordt collaborated on commissions, as they both worked for the royal administration and had lodgings in the Louvre. On occasion, both workshops may have worked to one design; in this instance, Boulle producing the clock and Oppenordt the pedestal.