Rare small Empire period clock, circa 1810, belonging to the Robinson Crusoe and Bon Sauvage series.
Mercury gilt bronze, rooster watch movement signed Lépine.
Fueled by travel accounts, the Europe of the Enlightenment dreams of exoticism. She readily gives in to the bucolic dreams of a Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Under the impulse of the philosopher, time sets itself in the hour of sensitivity. We mourn the upset loves of Paul and Virginie, those of the beautiful Atala. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Chateaubriand and, before them, Daniel Defoe … literature is teeming with romantic stories which, in this liberated 18th century, exalt the image of the good savage and the lost paradise. The clocks produced are the quintessence of this pre-romantic current. These luxury objects are intended for a cultivated clientele, who knows everything about the adventures of our heroes.
This clock is inspired by the novel “Robinson Crusoe”, published in 1719. Robinson is represented as a man with a long beard, with a strange pointed hat, a rifle and an umbrella, on which a parrot is perched. Next to him a palm supporting the movement.
Jean-Antoine Lépine, born in 1720 in Challex in the Pays de Gex, died in 1814, is a French watchmaker. He invented the caliber that bears his name and in which the rocket is removed and the upper plate is replaced by bridges.
This allowed the balance to be placed next to and not above the mechanism, thus making thinner watches. He also claimed the invention of the comma escapement. He became master watchmaker in 1765 and was appointed king’s clockmaker: he was a clockmaker for Louis XV, Louis XVI and then Napoleon I. In 1793-1794, Lépine, when his tired eyes no longer allowed him to work, handed over the “Maison Lépine “to his son-in-law Claude-Pierre Raguet who became a partner in 1792, and on his death he passed on to his son Alexandre Raguet-Lépine, in 1810, who continued the activity. However, Jean-Antoine Lépine continued to be active in the business until his death in 1814 in his house on rue Sainte-Anne in Paris.
Original gilding in excellent condition, movement in working condition with key.
Height cm 24
Base cm 16 x 4.5