A beautiful French Empire "au bon sauvage" mantel clock Portefaix. The timepiece mounted in a fire-gilt bronze “Baal” carried by a fire-gilt and patinated bronze carrier.
A beautiful French Empire "au bon sauvage" mantel clock Portefaix
The white enamel dial with Roman hour numerals, surrounded by a division with minute dashes and Arabic minute numerals every fifteen minutes. Bronze ormolu Brequet hands.
Eight-day spring-powered anchor movement, pendulum with silk suspension. Bell percussion in full on the hour, and once every half hour, by means of a locking disc.
The watch mounted in a fire-gilt bronze “Baal” carried by a fire-gilt and patinated bronze carrier, holding a letter and a stick in his hands. stands on an oval base with lace reliefs on the front of parrots and a monkey on palm leaves, supported by four ball feet. The representation of real exotics was a very popular subject with the overseas colonies at the time of the Directoire. At the end of the 18th century, it was the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau who introduced the concept of “the noble wilde” (le bon sauvage). In the novels Paul Et Virgine by Bernadin De Saint-Pierere and Atala by Chateaubriand, these noble savages also appeared and were very popular at the time. This made them an inspiration for a number of bronziers. The “Portifaix” model based on a design by Jean-André Reiche shows a dynamic and reliable boy. Here in the figure of Portifaix, an anecdotal background also shines through. Thus, the carrier is often called upon not only to transport the goods, but also appears as a messenger. Compositionally new is that the figure was designed as a free-standing sculpture in which the cylinder of the clockwork is fully integrated.
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