Pendule aux génies de l'étude
Importante pendule aux Génies de l’Étude, en bronze doré (mat et bruni) et bronze patiné.
La caisse par le bronzier Robert Osmond (1711-1789), en forme de colonne tronquée a cannelures, est montée sur un socle à motif de grecque et une base décorée de frises de postes. Elle est flanquée de deux putti ailés représentant les génies de l’Étude. Un élégant vase néoclassique à l’amortissement est orné de deux anneaux mobiles et de tors de lauriers.
Le mouvement par François Agéron (1709-1783) signé sur la platine arrière « Agéron AParis », sonnant les heures et les demis sur un timbre. Échappement à ancre, suspension au fil de soie, roue de compte étoilée et numérotée.
Paris vers 1770.
Hauteur : 46 cm / Largeur : 27 cm / Profondeur : 21 cm
François Agéron (1709-1783) and Robert Osmond (1711-1789)
An important gilt bronze clock « aux génies des sciences »
Late Louis XV period, Paris circa 1770
An important neoclassical patinated and gilt bronze figural clock of eight day duration, signed on the movement Ageron a Paris (François Agéron, master in 1741), with a beautiful bronze case by the bronzier Robert Osmond (Master in 1746).
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 and studious winged putti, symbolising genius; they sit upon a rectangular pedestal, one cherub holding a rolled document and the other holding dividers, with books and mathematical instruments below. The rectangular base with turned corners upon a correspondingly shaped red marble plinth, on four gilded toupie feet. This 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.
The white enamel dial with Roman numerals and foliate pierced gilt hands, The movement signed at the back, Francois Ageron (Master in 1741) with silk suspended pendulum, anchor escapement, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell with numbered countwheel.
Paris circa 1770
20 ½ in. high (52 cm) / 12 in. wide (30 cm) / 9 ½ in. deep (24 cm)
Literature: This clock is illustrated and discussed in the following books
- Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Proschel, "Vergoldete Bronzen", 1986, p. 177, pi. 3.6.7, and colour plate XTV, p. 91, illustrating a very similar clock with case by Robert Osmond and movement by Francois Ageron.
- Pierre Kjellberg, "Encyclopedic de la Pendule Fran9aise du Moyen Age au XXe Siecle", 1997, p. 231, illustrating other very similar clocks by Robert Osmond and François Ageron.
Robert and his associated nephew Jean Baptiste Osmond represent a dynasty of French designers gilders and chasers of bronzes, active during the second half eighteen century, among the most famous of this Parisian corporation.
Robert Osmond (1711-1789) may have started working in 1735. He was received Master in 1746 and established himself rue des Cannettes close to the church Saint Sulpice in Paris, and then moved his workshop, in 1761, to a larger one located rue Macon at the corner of the rue Poupé. His nephew Jean Baptiste (born 1742) was trained from 1753 under the bronzier Nicolas Collot, a friend and a neighbour of his uncle, established rue des Ciseaux. Jean Baptiste was received master aged 22 in 1764, and he joined his uncle in the workshop rue Poupé.
Most of the bronzes realised by the Osmond are of neoclassical style, and the Osmond seemed to have been among the leading tastemaker of this early neo classical manner, appeared by 1765, which was called “gout grec”. All the pieces signed Osmond are of great quality and were most of the time realised after sketches supplied by Robert Osmond himself.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, they were not dependent upon the patronage of the powerful and influential marchands-merciers, although they did occasionally supply pieces to Lazare Duvaux. Osmond largely cultivated their own exclusive roster of aristocratic clients and supplied their clocks directly to them. They also supplied the garde meuble royal : a cartel supplied by Osmond in 1770, for the cabinet of the “Grand Dauphin” at Versailles, and an ormolu vase supplied for the Palais des Tuileries (AN O1 3656).
The movement for this magnificent clock was made by François Ageron (d. by 1783), who was one of the leading eighteenth century Parisian clockmakers. Ageron’s establishment was famous and known for his horological genius he created both clocks and watches, many of which had complicated movements. He was born at Arbigny and was received as a Parisian maître-horloger in 1741, at which date he was established at Place du Pont Saint-Michel.
By 1747 he had moved to Quai des Augustins, five years later he was at rue Saint-Louis au Palais and then in 1763 at place Dauphine. Like other great clockmakers of the period he used cases by the finest bronziers notably Philippe and Jacques Caffiéri, Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain, Robert and Jean-Baptiste Osmond, Jacques Dumont and Etienne Portelette as well as the ébéniste Balthazar Lieutaud. Among such collaborations is the Pendule aux Quatre Vents of circa 1765, which has a movement by Ageron and case by Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain, (Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung, Munich).
Though the exact date of his death is unrecorded it is known that Ageron’s stock was sold on 31stMay 1784. Among important collectors to own his work can be cited the marquise de Montesquiou, the duc de Deux-Ponts and duc de Rohan, Mademoiselle Laguerre, the marquis de Dupleix, the Governor of the French Indes as well as M. Bonnemet. Today many of his great works can be found in public collections throughout the world, including the Musée du Louvre and Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Residenzmuseum Munich, Museo Grassi in Madrid. Other examples of his work are housed at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire Brussels and at Château de Josselin.