The Longitude at the Eve of the Third...

Geneva, Hotel Des Bergues, Oct 23, 1999

LOT 15

Breguet No. 453, Pendule Pyramidale, Génie et Prudence, sold to Monsieur de Pourtales on October 22, 1806, for 3000 Francs.Extremely fine bronze and ormolu precision mantel regulator. One of the four precision clocks from the prestigious series of Pyramidales, made by Breguet with the magnificent bronze figures by Pierre-Philippe Thomire.

CHF 0 - 0

C. Portor marbel base standing on four gilt bronze engine-turned bun feet. The pendulum is hold above the escapement by two allegorical figures, featuring the Genius and the Experience. D. White enamel attributable to Dubuisson with Breguet numerals, the subsidiary seconds shown on a small silvered revolving chapter ring driven by the escapement. Blued steel Breguet hands. M. Brass rectangular with cylindrical pillars and two going barrel wound separately. Highly unusual form of pivoted detent ecapement with twin escape wheels each with four ratchet teeth, one for locking, the other for the impulse on the jewelled pallet of the pendulum. Half second beating gridion pandulum with knife edge suspension.Signed on the dial and back plate.Dim. 63 x 34 x 21 cm.

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: * 3
Dial: 3 - 01


This clock was exhibited in 1923 in the Musée Galliera, Paris, Centenaire de A.L. Breguet (1747-1823), Exposition de son ?uvre d'horlogerie et de chronométrie, Catalogue de l'Exposition, p. 7,No. 1.Among all the clocks produced by Breguet, the Pendules Pyramidales are certainly, together with the famous Pendules à trois roues, the Pendules branlantes and the Pendules sympathiques the most representative of his genius, they certainly also are the most decorative of all his production.Among the 10 Pendules pyramidales, recorded in the archives of Breguet, No. 5071, being the clock No. 449, bought back and resold by Breguet with a new number, four only were made with the bronze allegorical figures supplied by Pierre-Philippe Thomire:- No. 450- No. 453 Clock now offered for sale.- No. 454 Musée de l'Emaillerie et de l'Horlogerie, Genève.- No. 660 Bureau des Longitudes, Paris.Pendules pyramidalesNo. 448 Pendule pyramidale. Vendue à Mr. Hottinguer en Brumaire An 8 (novembre 1799), pour 2400 FrancsNo. 449/1806 Pendule pyramidale. Ornement à la boîte fontaine. Vendue à Mr. Folloppe le 10 mars 1827, pour 3000 FrancsNo. 450 Pendule pyramidale. Figures de bronze par Thomire, Génie et Prudence. A la Maison de Russie le 28 mai 1810. A Koenigsberg chez Toussaint B.P. n. Cte. Rentrée en 1817 avec le No. (not mentionned).No. 452 Pendule pyramidale. Vendue à Mr. Sommariva le 17 Nivôse An 13 (7 janvier 1805), pour 2400 Francs.No. 453 Pendule pyramidale. Figures de bronze par Thomire, Génie et Prudence. Vendue à Mr. de Pourtales le 22 décembre 1806, pour 3000 Francs.No. 454 Pendule pyramidale. Figures de bronze par Thomire, Génie et Prudence. Vendue à Mr. Pedro-Gomez de la Cortina le 11 novembre 1819, pour 3000 Francs.No. 658 Pendule pyramidale. Chapiteau triangulaire bronzes de Thomire Vendue au Prince de la Paix le 27 juin 1808, pour 4518 Francs.No. 659 Pendule pyramidale. Perdue ou égarée le 23 octobre 1810.No. 660 Pendule pyramidale. Chapiteau triangulaire à deux figures: Génie et Prudence, bronzes de Thomire. Vendue à Mr. F. Baring le 15 janvier 1833, pour 2400 Francs.No. 661 Pendule pyramidale. Chez Le Roy le 30 juin 1817, pour 1450 Francs.No. 5071 Pendule pyramidale. (Ancien No. 449). Reprise de Mr. Follope le 19 juillet 1831, pour 3000 Francs. Vendue à Mr. Jolly de Bonneville le 20 février 1847, pour 2000 Francs.Carlo Andrea, Count Pozzo di Borgo (1764 - 1842), diplomat and politician, was born in Alata in Corsica. His family was wealthy and influential amongst the small Corsican nobility, and early in his career, Pozzo di Borgo became secretary to Paoli, the General and leader of the Corsican movement demanding self government. Elected to the Legislative Assembly in October 1791, he was a staunch supporter of King Louis XVI, but when nominated Governor of the island, he became an active Paolist and baced the English Viceroy Eliot after the island was ceded to England.In 1796, following the re-establishment of French rule, Pozzo di Borgo was forced to flee to Great Britain. He moved to Vienna some two years later, before entering the service of Tsar Alexander I, in 1803. At the Russian court he lobbied vociferously against Napoleon and his policies. He devised a plan of action to be taken against France, in line with the interests of the third coalition, but it was to come to nought following the battle of Austerlitz and the treaty of Presburg in December 180, which resulted in the total collapse of Austro-Russian diplomatic ambitions.Expelled from the Russian court at the demand of Napoleon in 1807, Pozzo di Borgo returned to England where his implacable hostility towards Imperial France enabled him eventually to rally Bernadotte to support the Coalition cause. After Napoleon's first abdication in 1813, he was restored to grace by Alexander I, promoted to General, and made special envoy from the Tsar to the court of Louis XVIII.He advised the King to accept the Charter of 1814, attended the Congress of Vienna in the following months and became Russian Ambassador to France; a post that he was to hold until 1834. Throughout this period, he worked for the return of good relations between Russia and France, a course of action that was not readily accepted by the royalists and Chancellor Metternich of Austria. Appointed Russian Ambassador to London in 1834, he remained in England until 1839, continuing to vigorously pursuehe interests of his adopted country, but returned to Paris upon his retirement from diplomatic life, and died there in 1842.Pozzo di Borgo had been a clever and able man, but an impenitent renegade throughout his career; he left behind a mass of correspondence giving an interesting insight into the diplomatic life of his age.