A Fine Louis XVI Style Mantel Clock, After the Model by Andre-Charles Boulle
A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze, Ebonised and Brass Marquetry Inlaid Mantel Clock, After the Model by Andre-Charles Boulle, By Henry Dasson. Signed...
DimensionsHeight: 79 cm (32 in)
Width: 56 cm (23 in)
Depth: 32 cm (13 in)
A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze, Ebonised and Brass Marquetry Inlaid Mantel Clock, After the Model by Andre-Charles Boulle, By Henry Dasson.
Signed and dated ‘Henry Dasson 1892’.
The clock is modelled as a seated figure of Venus with her foot resting on a conch-shell, Cupid with his bow standing at her side, the floral-garlanded drum-shaped case with rosette-cast bezel and gilt dial cast in relief with six airborne putti safeguarding the inset enamelled plaquettes with Roman numerals, the back with pierced door, on a shaped base inlaid with circled rosettes, on acanthus-cast ball feet.
This large and impressive mantel clock is after a celebrated example attributed to André-Charles Boulle, now residing in the Wallace Collection, London. Believed to be one of three known clocks, the attribution to Boulle is based on the 1715 acte de délaissement to his four sons stating: ‘Une boëte de pandulle historiée d’une Vénus avec son amour dont il n’y a que le corps de la boëte fait, les bronzes n’etant que moulées et prêtes à fondre, commandée, valant avec trois autres boettes de pandulle dans le même état…2500l’ (see J. P. Samoyault, André-Charles Boulle et sa Famillle, Geneva, 1979, p. 6).
Fine 19th Century versions are known by both Henry Dasson and Francois Linke. The figures in examples by Dasson are normally gilded whereas the versions by Linke have patinated figures. It is likely that the current version by Dasson is inspired by the model in the Wallace Collection as it lacks the garlands of gilded bronze flowers cascading from the left hand of the Venus that can be found on the 18th century model in the Rothschild collections at Waddesdon Manor.
French, Dated 1892.
Signed and dated 'Henry Dasson 1892'
Henry Dasson (1825-1896) was one of the finest makers of gilt-bronze mounted furniture in the nineteenth century. Unlike other cabinetmakers of this time Dasson started his career as a bronze sculptor, and for this reason one of the characteristics of his work is the great quality of his bronze and more precisely of the chiselling.
With a workshop established in Paris at 106 rue Vieille-du-Temple, he specialised predominantly in the production of Louis XIV, XV and XVI style furniture using the very finest gilt-bronze mounts.
In 1871, he purchased the flourishing business and remaining stock of Charles-Guillaume Winckelsen, who had established a reputation for furniture of the highest quality. Dasson almost certainly inherited the craft of ciseleur from Winckelsen.
At the 1878 and 1889 Paris Expositions Universelles Dasson exhibited a number of pieces in the Louis XV and XVI styles, as well as pieces of his own modified eighteenth-century design. The exhibits in 1878 included a table entirely in gilt-bronze, purchased by Lord Dudley. His copy of the celebrated Bureau du Roi sold at the same exhibition to Lady Ashburton.
Dasson ceased production in 1894, and at this time held a sale of his models, listed in Catalogues of drawings for art bronzes, style furniture and important decoration with rights of reproduction by Henry Dasson et Cie, manufacturer of art bronzes and cabinetmaker as a result of cessation of production..’ The records from this sale show that Paul Sormani, as well as Joseph Emmanuel Zweiner, Maison Millet and Beurdeley acquired certain drawings and models by Dasson.
Jonathan Meyer illustrates a number of exceptional items exhibited by Dasson in 1889 in his book on the Great Exhibitions.
Mestdagh, Camille & Lécoules, Pierre. L’Ameublement d’art français : 1850-1900, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris), 2010.
Ledoux-Lebard, Denise. Les Ebénistes du XIXeme siècle, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris), 1984; pp. 146 – 151.0
Meyer, Jonathan. ‘Great Exhibitions – London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900′, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2006; p. 269, pls. H7, H8, H10: p. 270, pl, H12.
P. Hughes, The Wallace Collection – Catalogue of Furniture, London, 1996, Vol. I, pp. 354-9.
P.Hughes, “The James A. De Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, Furniture Clocks and Gilt Bronzes”, 1974.
H. Ottomeyer, P. Proschel et al., “Vergoldete Bronzen”, Munich, 1986, Vol. I, p.46, fig. 1.4.5.
Payne, Christopher, Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century, Editions Monelle Hayot (Saint-Remy-en-l’Eau), 2018; p.132.