Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 177, pl. 3.6.7, and colour plate XIV, p. 91, illustrating a very similar clock with case by Osmond and movement by François Ageron.
Jean-Dominique Augarde, “Les Ouvriers du Temps”, 1996, p. 25, pl. 11, illustrating a similar clock case by Robert Osmond with armillary sphere mouvante, by Adrien-Nicolas Montjoye, Horloger du Roi.
Pierre Kjellberg, “Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle”, 1997, p. 231, illustrating an almost identical clock case by Robert Osmond with the same marble base but patinated column and movement by François Ageron.
Elke Niehüser, “Die Französische Bronzeuhr”, 1997, p. 208, pl. 214, illustrating an almost identical clock case.
An important Louis XVI gilt bronze and white marble mantel clock of eight day duration, signed on the white enamel dial Louis Montjoye housed in a beautiful bronze case by Robert Osmond stamped OSMOND and the letters NH. The dial with Roman and Arabic numerals and a fine pair of pierced gilt bronze hands for the hours and minutes. The movement with silk thread suspension, anchor escapement, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel. The case composed of a fluted column surmounted by a classical urn with laurel swags and ringed handles, the dial with ribbon and berried laurel bezel flanked by two seated winged putti, symbolizing genius seated on a rectangular pedestal, one putto holding a rolled document and the other holding dividers, with books and mathematical instruments below above a stepped rectangular plinth with Vitruvian scroll frieze and fluted turned corners on a correspondingly shaped white marble base
Paris, date circa 1770-1775
Height 47 cm, width 32 cm, depth 26.5 cm.
The magnificent bronze case was made by the celebrated fondeur-ciseleur Robert Osmond (1711-89) A design for the model, numbered 81, appears in Osmond’s book of designs (Bibliothèque Doucet, Paris) and was described as ‘Piece à Colonne Emaille Verd Vaze avec deux genies Soc a Carrillion’, priced at 253 livres. Osmond (whose career is described in more detail on page (old no 18) in this book) was one of a number of bronziers to supply cases to Louis Montjoye (1729 d. circa 1815). Others included François Vion, François Rémond, Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain, Jacques Dumont as well as the ébéniste Charles Cressent; Montjoye also made movements for Sèvres porcelain clocks.
As a horological expert, Montjoye’s name is often associated with some of the finest Louis XVI clocks. The son of Jacques and Marie-Madeleine née Langlois, he was apprenticed to Michel Mathurin Guery in 1736. In 1748 he was received as a Paris maître at which date he moved from Quai Pelletier to rue Dauphine; 1758 saw him established at rue de la Vieille Draperie and 1772 at rue Galande. He lived well into old age and died circa 1815 at Jouy-le-Châtel; his sons Louis II (d. before 1783) and Joseph-Bernard (d. after 1817) were both watch case makers.
Much of Montjoye’s work was supplied to the marchands-merciers especially Pierre-Simon La Hoguette and Dominique Daguerre and through them was acquired by such figures as the duc de Richelieu, the duchess de Mazarin, the marquise de Montesquiou, the comte de Vaudreuil and the Margravine von Baden. Today examples of his work can be found among important collections including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Zähringen Museum Baden-Baden, Schloss Wilhelmstalhl, the Huntington Collection San Marino, California and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.