The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mantel clock
  • Mantel clock
  • Antoine-Mathieu Le Carpentier (1709 - 1773) , Designer
  • Probably Jean-André Lepaute, Clockmaker, (after a model made or commissioned by)
    Probably Jean-Baptiste Lepaute (1727 - 1801), Clockmaker
  • France
  • c. 1775
  • Gilt bronze, griotte marble, brass, enamel and glass
  • Object size: 68 x 100.7 x 25 cm
  • Inscription: 'Lepaute' Painted
    Inscription: '1011 / Lepaute / en haut' Painted
    Inscription: 'P' In resist
    Inscription: '1011 / 06' in ink
    Inscription: 'Du milieu du M (?) au / dans la lerre (?) il y a 2 1/2 pounces / jusquau Centre' In ink
    Inscription: 'J J Lepaute / 1826 / Cleaned 20th May 1914 H H / 17th Jan 1921 H Hildersley / Cleaned 3rd Sept 1930 / H Hildersley' Scratched
    Inscription: 'Decembre 1874' Scratched
    Inscription: 'Richard fevrier 1775' Scratched
    Inscription: 'BAUDET / Spécialité de Rhabillages / 36, rue de Bondy - PARIS / A. Servant / 6, Rue de Braque, Paris. / Pelleteries et Fourrures' Printed
  • F268
  • West Room
Further Reading
  • The design of this clock is attributed to the architect Antoine-Mathieu Le Carpentier (1709-1773), who worked with Jean-André Lepaute (1727-1801) on the mantel clock delivered to the Prince de Condé for the gallery of the Palais-Bourbon in Paris in 1772. There is, however, no mention of the eagle on the Palais-Bourbon clock and the base was different; it would appear, therefore, that this example is a slightly later version, a suggestion which is supported by the date of 1775 scratched on the spring of the striking train. It may have been cast by either Etienne Martincourt (master 1762) or François Vion (master 1764), since both these founders are mentioned as having made cases for J-A Lepaute in ‘Description de plusieurs ouvrages d’horlogerie’ (1766), written by the clock-maker.
    The figures of Night (left) and Day are based on marble statues by Michelangelo, from the tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici in Florence (c. 1520-1534). These figures, very appropriate for the decoration of clocks, were first used on clocks by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732); bronze reductions of the figures appear to be listed in a document relating to his workshop in 1715, as well as in his probate inventory of 1732. The neo-classical movement, which was well underway by 1775, not only looked back to classical antiquity directly, but also through the prisms of the Renaissance and French seventeenth-century classicism, which made the works of Boulle a popular inspiration.