The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Filing-Cabinet and clock
  • Filing-Cabinet and clock
  • Attributed to Charles Cressent (1685 - 1768) , on the basis of the figure mounts
  • Attributed to Jacques Confesseur (1685 - 1759), casting and chasing of mounts of top section
  • France
  • c. 1740 - 1745 (upper section with clock)
    c.1800 - before 1848 (doors added to upper section, and lower section made to match upper section)
    1800 - 1825 (silk supsension of clock movement replaced with pendulum suspension, and replacement pallets added)
  • Oak, veneered with satiné and amaranth, ebony and box stringings, walnut shelves and divisions, gilt bronze (upper and lower sections); brass, steel spring suspension, enamel, blued steel, glass (clock on upper section); adjustable shelves veneered with amaranth, glass (lower section); steel keys
  • Object size: 221 x 102.9 x 35.6 cm
  • Inscription: 'HERVÉ / A PARIS' In black
    Inscription: 'Hervé AParis' Engraved, with some of original wax filling remaining
    Inscription: A foliated 'D / Dec 18th 1920 / H Hildersley' Scratched
  • F72
  • Small Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • It is evident that this clock and filing cabinet have been altered, and it is the upper section which can be attributed to Charles Cressent, on the basis of its figurative mounts. In its original state the upper part would not have had doors but open shelves for papers. Such objects were designed to stand either on a cabinet as in this instance, or to be placed directly onto a writing table. This cabinet is both too high and is accessed incorrectly for an eighteenth–century model: it would have had doors on either side rather than the front. The object as a whole (upper and lower sections) had acquired its present appearance by 1848 when it was bought by the 4th Marquess of Hertford as a 'Beautiful China Cabinet'.
    A clock of this design, surmounted by Diana the Huntress, and an accompanying writing–table were first recorded in Cressent's sale of 1757. This model proved popular and was probably made by him over at least a ten-year period from 1749–59.
    The double– throw locks on both sections and the accomplished imitation of the Louis XV style on the lower part suggest that the latter was made in Paris.
    The clock movement would originally have had a silk suspension; now it has a pendulum suspension which, with its Brocot adjustment, probably dates from the early nineteenth century, as do the replacement pallets of the escapement.