Circa 1800

Fantastic gilt and patinated bronze ‘Pendule au bon sauvage, l’Afrique’ signed on the movement “Ridel à Paris” . White enamel dial with Arabic numerals and a fine pierced gilt brass hands for the hours and minutes. The movement with anchor escapement, silk thread suspension, striking on the hour and half hour, with outside count wheel. Drum-shaped case surmounted by a seated figure of a half-draped huntress with bow in her left hand and arrow in her right. Next to her, a seated panther and she rest her feet in gilt bronze (with Greek sandals, a very rare version!) on a turtle. The base is adorned with serpent-tied floral garlands and relief cast of “amorini” in the front, above a beaded border and toupie feet.

Size: H 48cm x W 38cm x D 15 cm

Paris, circa 1800.

Lit: Identical models of this wonderful clock, representing the personification of Africa, can be found among prestigious collections such as the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Musée Duesberg in Mons in Belgium (one with also movement by Ridel ).

Laurent Ridel ‘s work was always of the finest quality with use of magnificent dials, plaques and cases. Ridel was an expert in his field, only working with cases of the very highest quality made by Lemoyne, Feuchères, Denière, Mathelin and Deverberie and had dials and enamel decoration executed by Coteau as well as Georges-Adrien Merlet.

Ridel is also noted to have used springs made by Monginot l'Aîné. Although little of his early life is known, Ridel appears to have made his name before the Revolution since J-D Augarde notes that he supplied a cartel clock to Mesdames Victoire and Adelaïde at Bellevue before 1789 (no. 3748 in the sale of the Château). Ridel continued his success during the Directoire period and by 1800 was established at rue aux Ours, Paris. In addition to this clock by Ridel, we own a “Skeleton klok” by him.

The design of the clock is due to Jean-Simon Deverberie’s (1764-1824) who’s original drawing for the Pendule à l’Afrique of 1799 is included in his album of clock designs, kept in the “Cabinet des Estampes”, at the national library of France in Paris. It was one of a number of fabulous designs on the theme of “le bon Sauvage”; his other most famous ones representing “l’Amerique”, portrays a negress with alligator at her feet and “l’Indien et l’ Indienne enlaces”.

The present model, which was made as a pendant to his l’Amèrique dates from 1799 and continued in popularity up until about 1815. We a thrilled to have both in our collection for this time being.