Circa 1796

Arch pendulum clock with skeleton movement of the French Directoire period. Gilt bronze mounted enamel skeleton clock with 3 dials, signed on a white enamel cartouche below the main dial “Ridel à Paris”, with gorgeous enamel work by the famous artist Joseph Coteau signed: COTEAU FECIT”. Lovely polychrome decorated white enamel dial ring with Arabic numerals and a thirty day calendar ring, adorned with jewelled and gold scrolls, with fine gilt brass hands indicating the hours and minutes and black steel pointer for the calendar. Skeletonised movement with pin wheel escapement mounted on the backplate, striking on the hour and half hour on a single bell, with outside count wheel, with a Apollo pendulum. On top, a dial indicating the moon phases and below a days of the week calendar dial with the their according planet symbols. Dark blue enamel arched frame on black marble. Doric columns on a rectangular black marble base with beaded border centred by a enamel, toupie feet.

Size: H 44cm x W 24,5 cm x D 12cm

Ridel in Paris, Directoire period (end 18th century)

Lit: Laurent Ridel ‘s work was always of the finest quality with use of magnificent dials, plaques and cases executed by the esteemed enamellist Joseph Coteau (1740-1812). Originally from Geneva, Coteau worked primarily in Paris, where he was established in rue Poupé, St. André des Arts and was received as master in 1778. In 1780 Coteau was appointed Peintre-émailleur du roi et de la Manufacture Royale de Sèvres Porcelain; for the next four years he did piece-work for Sèvres whilst also working independently in Paris as a flower painter, specialising in enamelling watchcases and clock dials. By 1784 his production was considerable. As an independent artist, he supplied dials, plaques and painted cases to the leading Parisian clockmakers including Robert Robin and Ferdinand Berthoud, both clockmakers to Louis XVI.

Like Coteau, 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 the other skeleton clock by Ridel, we own a “Pendule L’Afrique” by him. The Duesberg museum in Mons, Belgium also owns those two and the Metropolitan Museum, New York owns another of his clocks.