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Exceptional clock by Jean Simon Deverberie, from the very first models of the Master, made in 1800 when he officiated rue Barbette in Paris.

Superb enamelled dial by Jean Joseph Coteau, the largest enameller of his time, with inlays of gold leaves, called enamelled straws, taking the form of clovers. Technique that Coteau implemented at the Manufacture de Sèvres by adapting it for the most precious clocks.

"Holy grail" clocks to «Africa» also called to «the African huntress», this model entirely original and in an exceptional state of conservation is made of finely chiseled gilded bronze and patinated bronze.

This clock belongs to a genre apart from which one must associate the atmosphere of the time to appreciate its charm and delicacy.

During the second half of the 18th century, a return to the virtues of nature animated society, inspired by the impetus of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Novels such as Paul and Virginie in 1788, Atala in 1805, or earlier, the adventures of Robinson Crusoe in 1719, helped to relay this enthusiasm.
Among all the known models of the pendulum in Africa, I present here the most exceptional, not only by its quality of execution but also by the signature on its dial:

«It.Ft.Deverberie, rue Barbette in Paris», for Inventaire Fecit Deverberie.

Certifying its manufacture by the Master himself ( because other bronzers copied it at the same time and this until 1830 ).

The address rue Barbette ( Marais district ) allows us to know the period of execution: in the almanac of the trade of Paris, Deverberie practices at this address from 1800 to 1804.
He had also deposited the preparatory drawing of this clock at the Cabinet des Estampes de la Bibliothèque de France in 1799. For this factual reason, the pendulum model "à l' Afrique" may not be Directoire period (as some sales descriptions may mention), but Consulat period.

Sitting on the dial, the African huntress wears a decrepit hair enhanced by a silver band. Dressed in a feather loincloth very finely chiseled, contrasting with its precious jewels: double-row necklace of pearls, bracelets of wrists, arms and ankles, and earrings.
His fixed eyes reveal his enamel eyes with pink iris (the eyes, when the model is produced by Deverberie, are always surrounded by pink or blue).

His bow in the left hand, an arrow in the right hand and his quiver of arrows on the back give him a conquering attitude, but also imprinted with grace and purity.
At her feet, a turtle, symbol of calm, wisdom, determination and sovereignty.

Behind her, the lioness, symbol of courage, combativeness, luck and inner strength.

These two companions complete this symbolic evocation of Africa: Wisdom and wild.


The patinated bronze base flares towards the base itself underlined by a row of pearls. It welcomes in applique a decoration of loves in gilded bronze, taking up the themes of hunting, fishing and gathering.
On each side, a garlands of flowers and fruits retained by snakes and a mascaron of fauna, completes the decoration.

The set rests on six legs called spinning top in bronze finely chiseled with a row of small pearls and gold.


Perfect state of conservation.

Gilding «ground gold» and patina of origin.

Wire movement completely revised by an art watchmaker.

Consulat period, 1800.

Jean Simon Deverberie ( 1764-1824 )
Jean-Simon Deverberie was one of the most important Parisian bronzers of the late 18th century and the first two decades of the following century.

He seems to have specialized his activity almost exclusively in the creation of clocks, torches and candelabra, decorated with exotic figures, particularly African characters; he deposited many models of pendulums called «the negro»including the so-called «Africa», «America» and «Indian and Indian entwined» models (the drawings are kept at the Cabinet des Estampes at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris and at the Doucet library). He set up his workshop successively on Rue Barbette in 1800, on Rue du Temple in 1804, and finally on Rue des Fossés du Temple between 1812 and 1820.

Jean Joseph Coteau ( 1740-1812 )
Known as the most prominent enameller of his time, specializing in the decoration of clock dials and metal objects. He collaborated with most of the great watchmakers of his time.

Jean Joseph Coteau, a native of Geneva, became master painter-enameller at the Académie de Saint-Luc in 1766. Soon after arriving in Paris, he appears in the registers of the parish of Saint-André-des-Arts and installs a workshop rue Poupée in 1778.

Starting in 1779, he invented a new decorative technique: the enamelled straw on porcelain. They are small gold leaves with various patterns, stamped, decorated with enamels then fired on porcelain. He implemented it at the Manufacture de Sèvres by adapting it for their porcelain.

Bibliography :

-Jean-Dominique Augarde, Les Ouvriers du temps : la pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon 1er, Genève, Antiquorum, 1996

-Marie-Christine Delacroix, « Les Pendules au Nègre », L'Estampille, nº 100, Août 1978, p. 6-15

-Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, Éditions de l'Amateur, 1997

-Béatrice Mura, « Les Pendules au Nègre à l'Heure de Deverberie », L'Estampille-l'Objet d'Art, n°241, Novembre 1990, p. 34-45

-Musée de l'Hôtel Sandelin, La pendule au nègre : exposition 29 avril-12 juin 1978, Saint-Omer, Le Musée, 1978

-Charlotte Vignon, « Deverberie & Cie: Drawings, Models, and Works in Bronze », Cleveland Studies in the History of Art, vol. 8, 2003, p. 170–187.

-jean Dominique Augarde, "Une odysséeen pendules, chefs-d'œuvre de la collection Parnassia, volume 1 et 2. Édition Faton.

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J.S Deverberie - J.J Coteau, exceptional clock " à l' Afrique", Consulat period


    Height : 17,8 inches
    Width: 14,2 inches
    Depth: 5,5 inches


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