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manufacture de Sèvres
Pendule géographique

1813 de ; 1821 à
biscuit ; porcelaine ; bronze (doré) H. 228 cm ; l. 42 cm ; P. 48 cm ; VOLUM. 0,4596
inv. 991
legs Marmottan Paul (testateur) (1932 acquis)
This gallery clock, or “geographical clock,” has casing in Sèvres biscuit porcelain presenting the busts of Apollo and Diana. A special mechanism at the top causes these two figures to make a half-turn to indicate the change from day to night. The shield shaped dial, marking the 24 hours, rotates behind a fixed hand. Around the edge of the shield, twelve pictures representing various places around the world indicate, for every two hours, the time in Paris when it is midday in the location depicted. The clock stands on a pedestal on which are painted, in imitation sard, allegorical figures representing Europe, Asia, and Africa. The original design, in which the casing was decorated with military attributes and topped by a bust of the emperor, while the twelve pictures around the dial were to represent episodes from his life, was abandoned after the fall of Napoleon. Work on this model began in 1813 and, after a hiatus of several years, was completed in 1821. Those who collaborated on the clock included Évariste Fragonard for the drawings and Jean-Charles Nicolas Brachard for the models. Jean-Marie Ferdinand Régnier produced the porcelain. The pictures around the dial are by Jean-Charles Develly. Pierre Huart and Jean-Baptiste Zwinger did the cameo paintings on the pedestal. It was sold for 12,000 The Garde-Meuble entrusted the movement to the horologists Lepaute Père et Fils (Pierre Bazile and Pierre Michel) and its cost was 1,200 francs. On January 8, 1822, the director of the Sèvres manufactory presented to the king Louis XVIII the various porcelain objects that had featured in the royal museum’s exhibition of creations by the four royal manufactories: porcelain from Sèvres, tapestries from Les Gobelins and Beauvais, and carpets from La Savonnerie. From these he chose the most remarkable pieces as Christmas gifts for the members of his “august family.” This clock was given to the Duchesse de Berry, who kept it in her Château de Rosny.