28" French Clock by Vincenti & Cie with Animated Tableau

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Animated tableau attributed to Tharin, Paris. Clock, Vincenti & Cie. Circa 1860. 28” x 17” x 7” (71 x 43 x18 cm). A fine ebonized wooden clock case lavishly inlaid in the Boulle manner with brass, mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell decorations contains a silk thread suspension clock along with an animated scene and music. The scene, rendered in vivid superbly preserved colors, depicts the interior of a village blacksmith shop with six people, horse and dog, and a well-detailed village scene with church steeple, houses and mountains in the background. The music plays two tunes, and is pull-string wound with stop-start lever in a hidden compartment door at the side. The musical, animation and clock movements are all independent with separate windings. The rare piece is entirely original. The clock is marked Vincenti & Cie, Médaille d’Argent. Movements: The blacksmith shop has five movements depicting the busy activities of the village blacksmith including hammering at the anvil, bellows, and the amusing wagging of the dog’s tail as he watches a horse being shod. Historical Notes: The blacksmith scene was a popular theme, reflecting the sophisticated Parisian’s romantic vision of the French countryside; an identical scene also appeared in larger mechanical tableaux (see #39 of this book with Tharin signature). Vincenti & Cie clockmaker won silver medals at the Paris Expositions of 1834 and 1855 for his highly decorative mantel clocks including those with inlay Boulle cabinet work which was enjoying a revival in France in the mid-19th century. However, few other examples of his clocks that also include animated scenes with music are known to exist.
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