Very unusual and important finely chased and gilt French Pendule ’Cercle a tournant’. Louis XVI circa 1780.
This ‘Cercle a tournant’ clock symbolising THE ALTAR OF VENUS .
The revolving dial indicates hours in Arabic numbers alternated with finely cut and assembled paste rosettes.
Mounted in a tuncated column decorated with a ribbon-tied laurel torus, a leaf frieze and a shield whose medallion at one bore engraved initials surmounted by a German Prince’s crown whose cross indicates the hours.To the right of the column a winged cupido laying on draped rocky surface with a gadrooned urn at its feet offers a dove to Venus To the left the goddess draped in in long classical robes,stands with one hand on her breast and the other reaching out to the dove. Between the two an engraved cartouche reads " Autel a Venus"
The oval white marble base is decorated with a pierced gilt bronze frieze of roses and other flowers tied with ribbons and is centered by a gilt copper plinth with beadwork mounts that is raised on finely chased lions paws.
The present clock is the only one of its kind known to date. An almost similar clock signed BUZOT is in the Univeristy of Michigan Museum of art, but it has not anymore the original revolving dial. Most probably the clock belonged to Elisabeth Auguste, Electress of Bavaria and Palatine 1721-1794 She was one of the most important personalities of the 18th century. She was born in Manheim and was the daughter of crown prince Joseph-Charles-Emmanuel of Pfalz-Sulzbach and the grand daughter of the Palatine throne. She lived in the Castle of Oggersheim which was the Electress’s favourite residence. She furnished it lavishly, often with furniture, clocks and bronzes specially made to order in Paris.