Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Table clock with calendar

Case and enamel design by the Firm of Lucien Falize (French, Paris 1839–1897 Paris)
in partnership with Germain Bapst (French, Paris 1853–1921 Paris)
Clockmaker: Firm of Le Roy et Fils (1828–1898)
Sculpture by Léon Chédeville (died 1883)
French, Paris
Silver, partly enameled gold, hardstones, rock crystal, amethysts, and diamonds
Overall: 18 1/2 × 7 × 7 in. (47 × 17.8 × 17.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, 1991
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 556
This clock was made for the great English collector Alfred Morrison; the designer, Lucien Falize, later proudly displayed it in the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle. The historical revival case has the form of a late Gothic tower, decorated elaborately with sculptural and architectural motifs. Its craftsmanship confirmed Falize’s reputation as an enameler and a jeweler. The clock’s movement is by Le Roy et Fils, a Paris firm with a London branch that held a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.
Signature: Signed on lapis panel to right of plinth with initials JR: L .FALIZE./INV.&./EXECVT/Paris/1881
Signed on molding below enamel depicting Law, on front: L. Chedeville sculp.
Engraved on brass plate: LE ROY ET FILS/Horologers/fournisseurs brevetés/de S.M. la Reine/à Londres; Retard: Avance; Quantième

Inscription: On front (below single dial):
[1] in panels, in gold: ECCLESIA (left); ORATIO (right)
[2] on plinth: LA flanking porcupine; motto COMINUS ET EMINUS
[3] engraved on lapis panels flanking plinth: Abizal/1442 (left); Paris 1515 (right)

On right:
[1] in panels, in gold: SAPIENTIA (top); LIBERATIO (left); INVESTIGATO (right)
[2] on plinth: HR flanking a portcullis, motto ALTERA SECURITAS
[3] engraved on lapis panels flanking plinth: Greenwich/1491 (left), Londres 1547 (right)

On back:
[3] right dial, enameled: 2•4•6•8•10•12•14•16•18•20•22•24•26•28•30•31-1
[4] engraved on banderoles in gold frame: HERI (left), HODIE (right),; CRAS (below)
[5] engraved on silver frame of rock crystal cover: Vulnerant onmes ultima necat
[6] in enamel panels in gold: LABOR (left); LEX (right)
[7] on plinth: AM flanking a grasshopper, motto PRAETIO PRUDENTIA PRAESTET
[8] engraved on lapis panels flanking plinth: L.FALIZE/INV.&/EXECVT (left); 1513 Rome (right)

On left:
[1] in panels in gold: FIDES (top), CARITAS (left), SPES (right)
[2] on plinth: JR flanking a papal tiara, motto POST TENEBRAS LUX
[3] engraved on lapis panels flanking plinth: Blois/1462 (left); Paris 1881 (right)

Various code marks and numbers appear. On Justice: 11 scratched inside edge of drapery on back, 1 on silver fitment; on Fortitude: 111 scratched inside front, 3 on silver; on Prudence: 1111 scratched inside front, 2 11 on silver; on Temperance: 1111 inside drapery, 4 on silver. On the reverse of the rim of the pierced-work plaque framing the three dials are indented circles: . .. ...

Marking: [1] BF flanking ring with rose-cut diamond, pendent pearl (firm mark of Bapst and Falize)
[2] EN in an oval (see image)
[3] London import mark for foreign work, 1906
[4] 925 in oval
[5] D in rectangle with canted corners
[6] stamped on key: FRANCE; 12

Location of marks:
1: enameled in center of upper dial on back
2-5: inside rim near foot of bottom section
3,4: also on silver rim of rock crystal cover on back and on silver shaft of figure of Truth
4: on silver bar fitted inside bottom of each gold figure
Alfred Morrison ; J. G. Morrison (until 1938; sale, Christie's, London, December 8, 1938, lot 30; sold for £65-2-0 to J. Cortez); J. Cortez (1938–before 1955) ; Antique Dome, Inc. , Miami Beach, Florida (by 1955; sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, October 8, 1955, lot 342; sold for $5,000); Harry J. Reicher (before 1992; sale, Sotheby's New York, April 19, 1992, lot 233, property formerly collection Harry J. Reicher)
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