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Superb clock in gilded bronze and brown patina on the theme of "good savages" and "America" evoking one of the central scenes of Chateaubriand's novel: "Atala or the loves of two savages in the desert".
It is also amusing to read, among some colleagues who have a model of this clock, a dating to the Directoire period (1795-1799).
Indeed, the romantic heroes of Chateaubriand were published in 1801, the marketing of the first copies of this clock began around 1805, under the First Empire then under Charles X.

The rarity of this very beautiful copy, dating from the end of the Empire, beginning of the Restoration, is also due to the presence of a Muscogulges guard (name of the tribe of Atala, enemy of that of Chactas), dozing against the  future stake.
Taking advantage of a lack of vigilance, the young Atala releases Chactas from his bonds.
The scene in low relief on the base shows us Chactas, accompanied by a missionary, going to bury Atala. 
Here is a summary of it to better understand the story:

At the beginning of the novel, the old shaman Chactas, who has become blind, confides to René, a Frenchman taken in by the Indians, the tragic story of his youth. The story of Chactas, a young Indian warrior from the Natchez tribe, allied with the Spanish colonists against the Muscogulges, begins with the evocation of the defeat of his clan, his capture and his adoption by an old Spaniard named Lopez, who collects him in the city of Saint-Augustin, in present-day Florida. Determined to return to the wild after refusing to convert to Christianity, Chactas leaves Lopez but is soon captured by the Muscogulges who decide to burn him as a sacrifice. He is freed by Atala, the daughter of Simaghan, the chief of the tribe, who helps him to escape. The two young fugitives fall madly in love with each other, but as they go deeper into the forests of Louisiana, Atala, who seems to be slowly wasting away, refuses to give herself to Chactas. She talks to him about her conversion to the Christian faith, and admits to him that she was born of the love of an Indian woman with a Spaniard, the same Lopez who had rescued and adopted Chactas. 
This discovery brings them closer, to the point that Atala seems on the point of giving in to her suitor's advances. One stormy night, Chactas and Atala arrive in an isolated village, where they are rescued by Father Aubry, a French missionary who leads a small community of Indian converts to Christianity. Chactas, convinced by the priest, promises to convert to marry Atala and spend happy days with her in this small village, but his happiness is only short-lived.  : Atala secretly swallowed poison. She confesses to Father Aubry that, devoted since childhood to religion by her mother, she took a vow of chastity and celibacy and that, tormented by her love for Chactas, she preferred to commit suicide rather than break her promise. . The monk blames his conduct, for it would have sufficed for Atala to ask to be relieved of her vows by the bishop of Quebec to be freed from it. However, he forgives Atala, who was unaware that Catholicism condemns suicide and therefore sinned by ignorance. After a moving scene of extreme unction and a sad funeral, Chactas takes to the road again in search of his tribe of origin, not without having promised to convert to Christianity one day. To forget the death of his beloved, he spends the rest of his life fighting and traveling, even ending up being received at the court of Versailles.

The subject itself was not completely new  : the tribes of North and South America had already been the subject of several accounts, such as  Incas  de Marmontel (1778) or the short novel  Odérahi, published anonymously in 1796. 
However, when Atala appeared, readers were first struck by the picturesque quality of the writing and the poetic power of the evocations of the beauties of the fauna, flora and landscapes of America, which earned to the author the nickname "  of Enchanter  ". The power of feelings and the dramatic character of the plot also fascinated contemporaries.

Superb state of conservation. 

Original movement in perfect working order. 
Signature largely faded:
..VERB.RI. , most probably DEVERBERIE for Jean-Simon Deverberie (1764-1824), reference bronzier for "savage" clocks evoking America and Africa. 

Early 19th century, around 1815.

References and Bibliography  :

- La Rochelle Museum of Art and History, inventory number N° MNM.2009.2.1. (movement signed Gentihomme at the Palais Royal)

-Châteaubriand house-museum, in La Vallée-au-Loup, in the Atala room. (movement signed Gentihomme at the Palais Royal)

-Pierre Kjellberg, The French Clock, Page 359.

-Tardy, "La Pendule Française", Paris, 1969, Vol II, p. 171.

-Peter Heuer-Klaus Maurice, “European Pendulum Clocks”, 1988, p. 79.

-Catalogue “François Duesberg Museum”, p. 63.

Photos taken naturally, without going through a photo studio. Because of this, you can enjoy them as they really are.
As with all of my art objects and furniture, I am very careful to be able to offer them to you at a very low expert estimate. 

Atala delivering Chactas: Clock to the "good savages", early 19th century.


    Height: 41cm
    Width:  36.5cm
    Depth: 11cm


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