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 André-Charles Boulle (1642 - 1732) , (clock and filing-cabinet)
  • Jean Moisy (1714 - 1782), Movement Maker
  • France and England
  • c. 1715 (clock and filing-cabinet)
    c.1766 (clock movement)
    1834 - 1845 (cupboard base and filing cabinet transformed into medal cabinet)
  • Oak, ebony, brass, gilt bronze, première-partie Boulle marquetry of brass and turtleshell, fruitwood, pinewood, walnut, amaranth, birchwood, steel, glass and enamel
  • Object size: 49 x 59 x 33.5 cm, clock
    Object size: 33.8 x 86.2 x 38 cm, filing-cabinet
    Object size: 100 x 92.4 x 39 cm, cupboard
  • Inscription: 'LE, ROY. / Â, PARIS.' Enamelled
    Inscription: 'J. Merfield / 5 Radcliffe Terrace, / Goswell Road, / LONDON.' Enamelled
    Inscription: 'Moisy A Paris No 733' Engraved
    Inscription: 'Tupman April 1st 1845 / June 1848 / Palmy à Lille 1799 / Degré' Scratched
    Inscription: 'H. Hildersley 1920' Scratched
    Inscription: 'Buzot / octobre 1766' Scratched
  • F413
  • Reserve Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This piece is made up of three elements - a clock resting on a filing-cabinet (which has been adapted to be a medal-cabinet), supported by a two-door cupboard. The clock and filing-cabinet date from c. 1715 and may be attributed to André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), although they did not belong together originally. The cupboard base was made in England, probably between 1834 and 1845 when the clock movement was altered, but it incorporates panels of early 18th-century Boulle marquetry on its doors and sides. This piece may be considered part of a general nineteenth-century taste for Boulle furniture.

    The front of the medal cabinet comprises a drop-front with a panel of turtleshell, against which are mounted gilt-bronze figures of the Three Fates: Clotho standing on the left, Atropos seated in the middle cutting the thread of life, and Lachesis seated on the right. Although the drop-front is one of the 19th-century alterations, the English cabinet-maker appears to have taken the mounts of the Three Fates from a Boulle bracket clock, of which there are other models known.

    The movement of the clock is by Jean Moisy (1714-82, maitre 1753), horloger de la duchesse du Maine, recorded as working in Paris. It was repaired in Paris by Jean-Baptiste Degrez (or Degres) (maitre 1778), and in Lille by Palmy in 1799, as recorded by marks on the front and back plates. It was extensively altered in London in the mid-19th century, when its present dial, with the forged mark LE, ROY. Â, PARIS, was enamelled by J. Merfield. It was given a new steel-spring pendulum suspension, was changed from back winding to front winding and had a calendar mechanism removed.