A wonderful Louis XV gilt bronze cartel clock of eight day duration, signed on the white enamel dial Delorme Le Jeune à Paris and also similarly signed on the movement. The movement with anchor escapement, silk thread suspension, striking on the hour and half hour with outside count wheel with pull repeat. The magnificent gilt bronze case of asymmetrical cartouche outline ornamented with shell-work, laurel sprays and berried foliage, surmounted by a Chinaman seated cross-legged, wearing a hat and holding a parasol above his left shoulder, with a glazed pendulum aperture below the dial above a sprigged terminal
Paris, date circa 1745
Height 55 cm.
This wonderful cartel clock characterizes the culmination of the French Rococo style, particularly the interest in the exoticism of the Orient and the ornate asymmetrical decoration. A near identical case model signed on the dial Fortin à Paris (illustrated in Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, "Vergoldete Bronzen", 1986, p. 119, pl. 2.6.4) features additional foliage to the upper left and a different parasol.
The case also exists with other slight variations, for example a clock with dial signed Gosselin à Paris (illustrated in Pierre Kjellberg, "Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle", 1997, p.107). The latter follows the same basis lines but has an almost mirror image terminal, the Chinaman seated in the same pose is older and wears a different hat, has a flower in his right hand and holds the parasol to his right.
Unfortunately none of the above cases are stamped but based on their style one can date the models to circa 1745. At this time Vincent Delorme, known as Le Jeune (d. circa 1755) was working from the family Paris workshop with his father Henry Philippe, known as Père (d. 24th July 1751). However the fact that the dial is signed with the son's name may imply that at the time of the clock's completion Vincent had taken control of the workshop. Vincent Delorme was received as a maître horloger in November 1717 and for most of his career worked with his father. By 1738 they were both established at rue d'Arnetal. By 1746 the business operated from rue Grenata and at the time of the elder's death in 1751 they were both at rue Bourg-l'Abbé. The Delorme workshop produced some very fine clocks, which were owned by such prestigious figures as the duchesses du Maine and d'Halincourt, the prince de Ligne, the marquis d'Arpajon and président Joly de Fleury. Similarly examples by Henry-Philippe and thus by implication his son, can be found at Château de Beloeil and the Palazzo Reale in Turin.