Null Important SPENCER & PERKINS bracket mantel clock. London, ca. 1750.
Lacquer…
Description

Important SPENCER & PERKINS bracket mantel clock. London, ca. 1750. Lacquered wood and gilt bronzes. With musical automaton. Chime with 9 bells and moving figures. Measurements: 67 x 37 x 24 cm. English bracket clock made in the George II period. Its case is made of lacquered wood, with gilded bronze applications with ornamental motifs worked in relief. It has an architectural structure, with the flanks decorated with stipes in the form of female figures executed in a synthetic style between the Greek and Egyptian legacies. It has nine bells and includes figures with movement set in a country scene depicted on the tympanum. Also in bronze are the openwork lattices at the corners of the façade, on the sides and lining the stepped talus-like dome, as well as the feet and the floral strings that adorn the flanks. The enamelled dial bears the Spencer and Perkins signature and has Roman numerals engraved in black. It is accompanied by two small dials for chiming functions. English bracket clocks are notable mainly for their mechanism, but also for their decoration. This type of clock originated in the 1960s, when the pendulum was applied to the clock, replacing the previous "foliot" regulator or balance. This change made it necessary to provide the mechanism with a case to protect it from shocks that could alter its movement. This was the origin of the watches known in England as brackets, i.e. portable watches. These were short cases which housed a mechanism held between two thick plates and contained, as the driving force for each train, a combination of a hub and a snail. These clocks were originally intended to be placed on a bracket, hence their English name. This bracket was a separate piece that was usually made at the same time, with decoration to match the clock. Later, however, the base and clock began to be made separately. The English developed a watchmaking mechanics distinct from that of the rest of Europe, based on an industry of specialised workshops producing products of great technical perfection. The cases were made by cabinetmakers who enriched the watches, turning them into real jewels. For this reason, throughout the 18th century English clocks and watches were evidence of the stylistic evolution that developed in English cabinetmaking, starting with the William and Mary and Queen Anne models, passing through the Chippendale and Hepplewithe styles and finally returning to classicism with the Adam, the Sheraton and finally the Regency. As for the specific type of bracket clock, it maintained its elegant and stately appearance throughout the 18th century, and by the end of the century the cases would be larger and more monumental. Even in the 17th century, the material used for their manufacture was usually ebony or tortoiseshell, combined with bronze applications. From 1670 onwards, olive and walnut were also common, and later brass began to be used. From the 1720s onwards these woods were replaced by mahogany, which was more suited to the new taste. On the other hand, the dials usually featured engraved numerals on the front plate, or incorporated a silvered hour sector. Later, other elements would be added, such as the seconds hand, located on one side of the central arc, or the date, which would be included on the dial. Even dials for the phases of the moon would be included.

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Important SPENCER & PERKINS bracket mantel clock. London, ca. 1750. Lacquered wood and gilt bronzes. With musical automaton. Chime with 9 bells and moving figures. Measurements: 67 x 37 x 24 cm. English bracket clock made in the George II period. Its case is made of lacquered wood, with gilded bronze applications with ornamental motifs worked in relief. It has an architectural structure, with the flanks decorated with stipes in the form of female figures executed in a synthetic style between the Greek and Egyptian legacies. It has nine bells and includes figures with movement set in a country scene depicted on the tympanum. Also in bronze are the openwork lattices at the corners of the façade, on the sides and lining the stepped talus-like dome, as well as the feet and the floral strings that adorn the flanks. The enamelled dial bears the Spencer and Perkins signature and has Roman numerals engraved in black. It is accompanied by two small dials for chiming functions. English bracket clocks are notable mainly for their mechanism, but also for their decoration. This type of clock originated in the 1960s, when the pendulum was applied to the clock, replacing the previous "foliot" regulator or balance. This change made it necessary to provide the mechanism with a case to protect it from shocks that could alter its movement. This was the origin of the watches known in England as brackets, i.e. portable watches. These were short cases which housed a mechanism held between two thick plates and contained, as the driving force for each train, a combination of a hub and a snail. These clocks were originally intended to be placed on a bracket, hence their English name. This bracket was a separate piece that was usually made at the same time, with decoration to match the clock. Later, however, the base and clock began to be made separately. The English developed a watchmaking mechanics distinct from that of the rest of Europe, based on an industry of specialised workshops producing products of great technical perfection. The cases were made by cabinetmakers who enriched the watches, turning them into real jewels. For this reason, throughout the 18th century English clocks and watches were evidence of the stylistic evolution that developed in English cabinetmaking, starting with the William and Mary and Queen Anne models, passing through the Chippendale and Hepplewithe styles and finally returning to classicism with the Adam, the Sheraton and finally the Regency. As for the specific type of bracket clock, it maintained its elegant and stately appearance throughout the 18th century, and by the end of the century the cases would be larger and more monumental. Even in the 17th century, the material used for their manufacture was usually ebony or tortoiseshell, combined with bronze applications. From 1670 onwards, olive and walnut were also common, and later brass began to be used. From the 1720s onwards these woods were replaced by mahogany, which was more suited to the new taste. On the other hand, the dials usually featured engraved numerals on the front plate, or incorporated a silvered hour sector. Later, other elements would be added, such as the seconds hand, located on one side of the central arc, or the date, which would be included on the dial. Even dials for the phases of the moon would be included.

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Attributed to WILLIAM JAMES (doc. London 1746-1771). "The Grand Canal of Venice, with a procession entering Santa Maria della Salute", 18th century. Oil on canvas. Original frame. Measurements: 75 x 126 cm; 86 x 137 cm (frame). We are in front of a Venetian veduta endowed with unusual virtuosity, both at compositional, technical and formal level. A wide panoramic view opens onto the great canal, flanked by the campanile of St Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace on the left, and the imposing church of Santa Maria della Salute on the right. Gondolas and boats of all kinds ply the canal. Precise detailing and narrative zeal are combined in the individualised description of the gondolas that cross the canal (some are humble, others are covered in gold, etc.), as well as the variety of characters (villagers, nobles, ecclesiastics making their way in procession towards the church door, etc.). A limpid sky illuminates the immense scene, giving shape to every detail: the sculpted figures in the niches, the rhythmic vibration of the water, the liturgical costumes... The art of the miniaturist harmonises with that of the landscape painter, following in the footsteps of the great master and inventor of the Venetian vedutismo genre, Canaletto (1697-1768). Canaletto lived in London between 1746 and 1756, thanks to the English consul Smith, who was responsible for the dissemination of the Grand Tour among the British. William James (active in London between 1746 and 1771) was a pupil of Canaletto's during this period, learning his style at first hand and producing several veduti without having visited the city. The present canvas shows numerous similarities with paintings by Canaletto such as Il gran Canal verso il bacino di san Marco and The Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute in the English Royal Collection. Similarly, the canvas by William James in the Francesco Borgogna Museum (Vercelli) entitled "Canal Grande e la chiesa della Salute" bears a close compositional resemblance, both in the variety of details and in the way it captures the clear, Mediterranean atmosphere.Few details of William James's career have survived (from Edward Edwards's compendium "Anecdotes of painters" 1808). We do know, however, that he was a pupil of Canaletto in London and exhibited in the English capital between 1761 and 1771 and that in 1766 he was a member of the Society of Artists, and it has also been possible to link his name with a number of paintings (both Venetian and London-themed) held in private collections around the world and important institutions such as the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Tennessee.

Bell crater by the painter from Photos with a scene of Marsias, Apollo and the Muses. Attic Greece, ca. 430-420 BC. Ceramics with red figures. Provenance: - Sotheby's London 1989. - Sotheby's London 1990. - Private collection, South of France, since 1980. Purchased from the Astarte Gallery, London, 11 October 1993. Thermoluminescence test enclosed. In good condition. Restored from original fragments. No repainting, only the lines have been covered. Publications: - Sothebys. Antiquities. London. 11 November 1989. Lot 125. - Sothebys. Antiquities. London. London. 10 July 1990. Lot 511. - LISSARRAGUE, F. La cite des satyres. Une anthropologie ludique. Athenes, VIe-Ve siecle avant J.C. Paris, 2013, p. 163, fig. 137. - CVA Project, University of Oxford, archival item 44266. Parallel: Chalice Crater with Apollo and Marsias, attributed to the Munich Painter 2335. Athens, 450-400 BC, ceramics. Private collection (CVA 215426). Measurements: 33 cm (height) x 38 cm (diameter). The myth illustrated in this krater begins, according to Greek accounts, with the creation of the aulos by the goddess Athena. Athena, however, threw it away in horror after noticing how her cheeks swelled when she touched it, making her face ugly. Attracted by the beautiful sound, the Phrygian satyr Marsias came and picked up the instrument from the ground and soon learned to play it with great mastery. Overcome by pride, the satyr dared to challenge Apollo himself, master of the lyre and chief musician god of the Greek pantheon, to a musical contest. The winner would decide the loser's fate: after the inevitable verdict of the muses in favour of the god, Apollo ruled that Marsias should be flayed alive. From the blood of the satyr (or from the tears of the contestants, according to other sources) flowed the river Marsias, a tributary of the Meander, one of the main waterways of Asia Minor. The crater was a large vessel, intended to contain a mixture of water and wine. It was carried to the place of the meal and placed on the floor or on a platform. The cupbearer administered the drink with a spoon or jug, and then filled the cups of the guests. The type known as 'bell-shaped' has small horizontal, protruding, upward-facing handles and an inverted bell-shaped vessel; it is a late type. The chalice krater is a more modern type than the column and volute kraters, although it predates the bell-shaped krater, and its shape, with an almost inverted trapezoid profile, is reminiscent of the calyx of flowers. In terms of technique, red-figure ware was one of the most important figurative styles in Greek ceramics. It was developed in Athens around 530 BC, and was used until the 3rd century BC. It replaced the previous predominant style of black-figured pottery within a few decades. The technical basis was the same in both cases, but in the red figures the colouring is inverted, with the figures highlighted against a dark background, as if illuminated by a theatrical light, following a more natural scheme. Painters working with black figures were forced to keep the motifs well separated from each other and to limit the complexity of the illustration. The red-figure technique, on the other hand, allowed greater freedom. Each figure was silhouetted against a black background, allowing painters to portray anatomical details with greater accuracy and variety.