Pierre Kjellberg, “Encyclopédie de la Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XXe Siècle”, 1997, p. 227, pl. D, illustrating an almost identical clock case, likewise with movement by Bourdier and dial by Dubuisson with additional ‘lyre strings’ below Pegasus.
The case is extremely rare for even though a number of other lyre-shaped clocks incorporated griffon heads very few featured Pegasus, the mythological winged horse. The model may very possibly have been inspired by an engraving of Apollo on Mt Helicon, which was illustrated in C. N. Cochin’s “Iconologie par Figures”, published Paris, 1757, book I, no. 27.
A wonderful Louis XVI paste-set gilt bronze and Campan Melange marble lyre clock, signed on the white enamel dial Manière à Paris, the dial with Roman numerals, with a fine pair of pierced gilt brass hands for the hours. The movement with anchor escapement, striking on a bell, housed in a very fine pierced lyre-shaped case mounted with scrolling foliage and anthemion and set with paste brilliants, surmounted by a figure of Pegasus, flanked by griffon heads bearing floral swags above a spreading base and a stepped rectangular and acanthus cast plinth on a rectangular Campan Melange marble base and gilt bun feet
Paris, date circa 1785
Height 64 cm, width 20 cm, depth 14 cm.
Manière was much favoured by Daguerre as evident from Daguerre’s probate inventory made after his death 1796, which records six clocks with movements by Manière; records also show that at the time of his death Daguerre still owed Manière 180 livres. Manière, the son of a Parisian maître-horloger, Jean-Pierre (d. after 1789) became a maître in 1778. At that time he was established at rue du Four-Saint-Honoré; by 1781 he had moved to rue des Prouvaires and by 1789 to rue Mercier. He later moved to rue Christine, 1806 and four years later was recorded at rue Bertin-Poirée. In addition to working extensively for Daguerre during his early career Manière also supplied many pieces to the Darnaults.
His clocks were regarded as much as for their mechanical excellence as for their aesthetic value, with many of the cases being made by and in collaboration with such eminent bronziers as Pierre-Philippe Thomire and François Rémond. Manière also used cases by Jean-Baptiste Osmond, Claude Galle, Edme Roy and François Vion. Examples of such collaborations and other time pieces by Manière can be found in many public collections including the Châteaux de Fontainebleau and Versailles, in Paris at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and Musée Nissim-de-Camondo as well as the Patrimonio Nacional in Madrid. In addition the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome and Palazzo Reale in Turin, as well as the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg and Woburn Abbey, Woodstock, Oxfordshire also own examples from his outstanding oeuvre.