longcase regulator

 
Artist
Creation date
Materials
ebony, tortoise shell, pewter, brass, gilt bronze
Mark Descriptions
stamped on the outside, back at the top of pedestal: F. GOYER J.M.E. | signed on back of plate movement: Gribelin A. Paris; signed on the front brass plate: Gribelin A. Paris
Dimensions
H: 82 1/2 in.
Credit line
Gift of the Decorative Arts Society, the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and in memory of Dorothy Pettis Bookwalter
Accession number
1989.72
Collection
Currently On View In
William L. and Jane H. Fortune Gallery - H214
Auctioned at Nouveau Drouot, Paris, in 1985; Bernard Landman, Indianapolis; purchased from Bernard Landman with a Gift of the Decorative Arts Society, the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and in memory of Dorothy Pettis Bookwalter for the Indianapolis Museum of Art in September 1989.
Reproduction of these images, including downloading, is prohibited without written authorization from VAGA.

350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2820
New York, NY 10118
Tel: 212-736-6666
Fax: 212-736-6767
e-mail: info@vagarights.com
site: http://www.vaga.org/

Indianapolis Museum of Art: Highlights of the Collection (2005)

Made of ebony, tortoiseshell, pewter, and brass, this clock's opulent veneer was almost certainly made by André-Charles Boulle, a cabinetmaker so skilled that his name became synonymous with this marquetry technique: boullework. In 1672, Boulle was appointed ébéniste du Roi-cabinetmaker to the king-and he received his own studio and living quarters in the Louvre. There he enjoyed special privileges allowing him to produce works for Louis XIV and other clients free from the strict guild rules governing the division of labor. As a result, Boulle was able to control the complete design and construction of his works.

The IMA's timepiece is an early French example of a so-called longcase clock, designed to accommodate a long pendulum; it is the ancestor of the familiar grandfather clock. Also attributed to Boulle, the gilt bronze figure supporting the dial represents Cronos, known in some Greek traditions as Father Time. Below the figure is engraved GRIBELIN A PARIS. On one of the moldings below this are pewter fleurs-de-lys, which could be a symbol of a royal family member. Only about seven similar longcase clocks survive that are attributed to Boulle. A description of a related clock appears in a 1689 inventory of the belongings of Louis XIV's son, called the dauphin, at the château of Versailles.

Cronos the Ruddy, steer your boat
Toward Silver Island whence we sing;
Here you shall pass your days.

-Poet Robert Graves, from "The Sirens' Welcome to Cronos"