Item # LFA206
Beautiful example of a Louis XV style longcase clock from the Lyon region of France. Circa early 1800s. The walnut case of this very graceful clock was hand crafted with a chapeau de gendarme cornice over the dial case and is evidence of the cabinetmaker's exceptional skills. It houses an enameled dial with Roman numerals and stamped brass hands. The pediment fronton of thin repousse depicts a provincial scene of a woman reading to a young girl. The lower violin shaped case is lavished with stylized shell and foliate motifs and features a grotesque mask, possibly the face of someone the owner met during his travels as a silk trader. Fine carving pervades the piece. The expense of such a grand clock was huge and often served as an indication of a family's wealth and social standing. All clocks in working order.
Napoleon Bonaparte forced the use of Lyonnaise silk on the courts of Europe during his reign, causing the silk trade to experience a rapid growth. New tenement workshops were built for the canuts (craftsmen) and the number of looms in operation increased from 6000 to 60,000 between 1800 and 1848, with over 90,000 people working in the silk industry. Lyon's worldwide mercantile contacts and immense wealth attracted banks from the Far East to the city and encouraged the creation of banking institutions. This led in turn to investment in land in Algeria, Madagascar and southeast Asia. This clock was owned by one of these wealthy silk traders in the Lyon region.
h - 107"
w - 19"
d - 11"
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