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Cartel Barat a Paris
Louis XV Paris, 1745-1749
Castel clock from the period of Luois XV made with gilded and chiseled bronze.
The clock has marked asymmetric structure, typical of the age of Luois XV.
The quadrant is rounded, enameled in shades of blue and black, and is signed “ Barat à Paris”; the two hands, also made with gilded bronze, point at the hours in roman numbers and minutes, at intervals of five, in arabic numbers.
The mechanism, equally signed “Bart Paris” on the rear plate, works with anchor escapement. On the rear plate is marked (as used) a revision on the mechanism, “ Thevenet à Artenay le 7-9bre 1881”.
The quadrant is inside a case entirely made with gilded, chiseled and stamped bronze.
The case is generously decorated with rocailles, enricher buy floral elements ( bloomed branches, garlands, flowers and leafs) and by a generous use of asymmetrical lines and bends with no interruptions. On the upper part is embellished with a female figure and on the inferior part with two winged putti.
The clock has the stam of the crowned “C”, the sign of the paymant of an exceptional tax on gilded bronzes introduced in France by an edict of March 1745 then abolished in 1749. That punching, visible over several parts of the case, is a precise element of dating.
Dimensions: cm. 66x39x12
Inspect the object
Historical stylistic analysis
The wall clocks directly fixed on the wall or leaned on a base/console are called “Cartel”.
Typically french, they started to be produced at the beginning of the 18th century. The are short pendulum clocks, most of the time they have a gilded bronze case richly decorated. Usually the signature of the author is both on the quadrant and on the rear movement plate.
On the wall clocks the precious sculptural execution often prevails over the refinement of the movement: indeed the predominant element is the decoration of the case. The excessive attention to the decorations made these clocks complex works whose execution required the participation of different skills (draft-mans, sculptors, casters, gilder, clock maker).
At the time of Louis XV the “cartels d’applique” became particularly popular; they were clocks directly fixed on th wall, made with gilded and chiseled bronze, designed in the rocaille style and characterized by an asymmetrical structure generously decorated. Small statues depicting halter and hunting scenes, floral motifs are often on top of the cases.
On the top of the clock we find a female figure getting comfortable on a cloud, maybe Flora, Italic and Roman deities who presided over the blooming of the harvest and of the fruit trees; in the classical iconography is rappresented as a young woman aslways good looking that brings with her a bouquet – or a cornucopia- and often appears with one or both breasts naked, symbolizing fertility. She could also be Luck, goodness of favorable outcomes in the life cases. Luck, known as Primigenia, was conceived as a primordial mother, in the two appearances of creator of the world and origin of all reality, present, past and future.
Philippe Barat, nominated maitre horolger in Paris in 1742, was an apprentice of Nicolas Brodon, acclaimed clock-make of the royal court.