Empire period pendulum "The Study" in the Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

This monumental pendulum "Aux Maréchaux" ("At the Marshals" or "The Study") from Empire epoch is attributed to the famous watchmaker Jean-Baptiste-Albert IV Baillon. The wonderful masterpiece in patinated bronze and gilt, symbolizing "reading and literature", "study and philosophy" or "arts and sciences" is remarkable for its sculptural elements, one excellent model after the sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot. The dial signed "Bled in Paris", the back of the clock is left transparent which is a curious detail. The masterfully bronzing was entrusted most likely to the artist-bronzer François Rémond.

The Empire epoch of clockmaking has reached impressive development and its patterns have come close to the perfection of artworks and technical achievements of the era. They are almost always splendidly decorated with sculptural groups, richly complemented by exquisite decorative floral or geometric elements. The possession of such an exquisite art-object was not only a matter of practical necessity but also a symbol of prestige and high standing in the social hierarchy. This rather, by its refined and precision workmanship, are the works of the applied sculptural art, if such qualification is admissible. That's why the manufacturers of such watches have assigned the responsible work on the making of sculptural groups to the most famous sculptors of the epoch, which identifies those works of the highest class.

It's no accident that one of the co-authors of this wonderful pendulum "The Study" is Louis-Simon Boizot (1743-1809), himself. He was an artist-sculptor, winner of his time of the prestigious international awards Prix de Rome Sculpture (1765-1770), of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1778) and some others. Louis-Simon Boizot was born in Paris on 8 octobre, 1743. He died at the age of 65, on 10 March, 1809 in Paris. Archival sources reported that Louis-Simon Boizot was son of the artist Antoine Boizot (1702-1782), painter and designer of Gobelins Manufacture. In 1772 Louis-Simon Boizot married Marguerite Virginie Guibert (ca 1750-1804), whose father was Honoré Guibert (ca 1720-1791), also artist-sculptor, and mother Agathe Faustine Vernet (1723-ca 1777).

From 1773 to 1800, Louis-Simon Boizot was Director for almost thirty years of the Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine de Sèvres. The factory was founded in 1738 as Manufacture de Vincennes with support of the King at that time Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, and still works until today, already 280 years. In 1756, the manufactory was transferred to Sèvres. At first it was Royal, then Imperial, and is now under the auspices of the French Ministry of Culture as Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres.

In the time when Louis-Simon Boizot was its director, some of the emblematic porcelain works of the famous Sèvres factory are unglazed biscuit figures which have a matt finish that looks very much like marble. Boizot also produces terracotta designs for bronze gilded clock cases. He was a sculptor at the royal court of Louis XVI (1754-1793) and director of the sculpture workshop at the Manufactory of Sèvres. In 1778 Boizot was admitted to the French Royal Academy of Artists and Sculptors. He participated in the annual art salons until circa 1800. In 1777 he created portrait busts, also made of high-quality Sèvres biscuit porcelain, of King Louis XVI, husband of Queen Marie Antoinette and her brother Joseph II, who was Holy Roman Emperor (1765-1790) and the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I. Also, there are world-famous sculptural portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette of France (1755-1793) in Louvre, made by the great sculptor Louis-Simon Boizot, remained in the cultural heritage from the Imperial epoch.

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The pendulum "The Study" was presented as part of the Collection of antique pendulums and craft porcelain in thе Grand Curtius Musеum,
Salon Baron and Baroness François Duesberg.

Donation: Baron and Baroness François Duesberg.

Source of information: Grand Curtius Museum, Liège, Belgium.

Photos: own archive.

Related images

Pendulum The Study, Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

Pendulum The Study, Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

Pendulum The Study, Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

Pendulum The Study, Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

Pendulum The Study, Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

Pendulum The Study, Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum, Liège

Pendulum The Study (rear side), Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum

Pendulum The Study (rear side), Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum

Pendulum The Study (fragment), Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum

Pendulum The Study (fragment), Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum

Pendulum The Study (rear side), Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum

Pendulum The Study (rear side), Baron and Baroness François Duesberg donation, Grand Curtius Museum

Related links

https://www.patrimoine-histoire.fr/Patrimoine/Versailles/Versailles-Prefecture.htm

http://www.lapendulerie.com/media/LaPendulerie/01/virtual/virtualtour.html

http://www.lapendulerie.com/Pendulerie-The-Gallery-DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=19