18thC Louis XV Boulle and Gilt Bronze Bracket Clock by Michel
A magnificent, completely restored Louis XV bracket clock by Michel signed on the dial and the time/strike movement. A winged putto in partial drape seated upon the removable architectural top, with two bells concealed beneath. The ornate boulle and brass decorated case is fronted by a pair of figural demi-pilasters having fluted and bellflower pendants. A central arched glazed door opening to an enameled dial and chapters, above a pierced cast brass plaque of robust putti and intertwined foliates. All set on four recumbent figural sphinx figures; raised on a further inlaid shaped plinth with rope trim ending in toupie feet, the back with brass and floral shell inlays. Signed Michel a Dijon on the dial and the time/strike movement.
The clock ‘s movement is almost certainly original to the clock, given the large square backplate. The escapement is an anchor type, common on Louis XIV clocks of the period. Like most Louis XVI and Empire clocks, the suspension system was changed from a silk string one to a more durable steel string suspension system. The pendulum on this clock is most likely a replacement (very normal as they were very easy to lose). Fast/slow is now adjusted at the bottom of the pendulum itself. There are two slightly different size bells attached to a shelf atop the movement activated with springs and levers attached to the movement. Both bells ring the half hour and one bell rings the hour.
Regarding the maker Michel there is virtually no information anywhere on him. His clocks, whoever he was, are therefore are extremely rare. In a reference book called Encyclopedie de La Pendules Francaise du Moyen Age au XX siècle by Pierre Kjellberg , there is a photo of a Louis XIV Longcase Boulle Clock made by Michel a Paris. A leading Swiss antique shop called Richard Redding references a cartel clock with the dial and backplate signed Michel a Bourbonne. This one says Michel a Dijon. Whether the clockmakers made these clocks in various French cities is unlikely. Almost certainly they were made in Paris and then retailed in Dijon, Bourbonne or other French major cities.
Dimensions : 34″ H ( 86 cm ) x 20.5″ ( 52 cm ) W 10″ ( 25 cm )