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George iii ormolu-tortoiseshell automaton organ clock

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SPECIAL LOT, NOT ACCEPTING INTERNET BIDS\nONLY FLOOR BID, ABSENTEE BID, AND PHONE BID\nUSD$25000 DEPOSIT REQUIRED PRIOR TO BID\n\nSIGNATURE DE HENRY BORRELL ET MARKWICK MARKHAM, LONDON, circa 1780\n\nA George III ormolu-mounted tortoiseshell-veneered automaton quarter striking organ table clock of large size, Henry Borrell, Marwick Markham, London, circa 1780, for the Ottoman market, headed by a sunburst finial with ten tune selection enamel dial, the arched brass dial plate with champleve enamel decoration overall, the enamel dial with Ottoman chapters, pierced gilt hands and signed MARKWICK MARKHAM / BORRELL / LONDON, the arch with automaton scene of ships and rotating glass tubes representing the sea revealed behind gilt 'curtains', the substantial quarter striking movement with twin going barrels and further side mounted barrel driving the wooden musical barrel, engraved No. 1 to the end, and organ with pewter pipes, the plates engraved to both ends Henry Borrell / LONDON\n\nSpecial Notice\nProspective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral,and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.\n\nDimension: 42"H x 16"W x 13"D.\n\nProvenance:\n\nAdolphe Osso, acquired in Paris on 1925, then by descent\n\nThe Sale Will Benefit IFGF Church of Atlanta\n\n A LUXURY MARKET CLOCK\n\nThis previously unrecorded palatial Ottoman market clock is by one of the principal exponents of the genre, Henry Borrell. There are many familiar features of Borrell clocks; the prominent positioning of the tune selection dial, often substituted for a whirligig automaton, and case of Ottoman architectural outline are to be found on export clocks by Borrell; the most celebrated being the ormolu and enamel musical and automaton table clock which established a world auction record for an English clock when sold Christie's, Hong Kong, Magnificent Clocks for the Chinese Imperial Court from the Nezu Museum, 27 May 2008, lot 1511 (HK$36,167,500, £2,355,000), see also a smaller ormolu clock in the same sale, lot 1515 ; further examples may be seen in the Palace Museum Collection, Beijing (Yangzhen op. cit. p.100). Smaller models of this same basic design are the two tortoiseshell veneered organ clocks, signed Markwick Markham Borrell, sold Christie's, London, 15 September 2004, lot 9 (£65,725) and Christie's, London, 7 December 2005, lot 45 (£50,400); for a variation on the theme another sold Christie's, London, 14 November 2013, lot 110 (£74,500); the sheer scale however is seldom recorded; an organ clock of the same size by George Prior, 105 cm. high, sold Sotheby's, Monaco, 16 June 1982, lot 883 (FF. 99,900); another, 91 cm. high, by Francis Perigal features the same Prince of Wales feathers and other trophy mounts (Ord-Hume, op. cit., plate V 39/40, p. 120).\n\n THE OTTOMAN MARKET\n\nThe earliest recorded attempt at trade with this lucrative market was by Sir John Finch, British ambassador to Turkey. He presented an English Clock to The Grand Vizier in 1680; it was refused as the Grand Vizier was expecting a large sum of money. The Ottoman market peaked for the English Clockmaker in the second half of the 18th century.\n\nHENRY BORRELL \n\nHenry Borrell was a London clock and watchmaker whose address is recorded at 8 Aldersgate Buildings in 1795 and at 15 Wilderness Row 1795-1840. He was one of a number of English clockmakers towards the end of the 18th century whose work was strongly connected to the Export market of both the Near and Far East. His son Henry Perigal Borrell (1795-1851) worked in Turkey as agent for his father and was well connected there through his wife Emily Boddington whose grandfather had been British Chancellor.\n\n MARKWICK MARKHAM \n\nThe Markwick and Markham names appear on clocks and watches from the mid-17th to the early 19th centuries. The earliest clockmaker appears to be James Markwick (born about 1640) who was made free of the Clockmakers Company in 1666. His son James took over his father's business in 1696, was Master of the Clockmakers Company in 1720 and formed a partnership with Robert Markham shortly afterwards, it was short-lived as James junior died in 1730. James junior's daughter Catherine married Robert Markham in about 1729. There are no contemporary directory records of the firm after Markham junior died in 1741. It is after this date that we see many other names written on the dials of clocks and watches in conjunction with Markwick Markham such as with the present clock. As well as Henry Borrell, others such as Louis Recordon, Dupont, Francis Perigal, William Story, Isaac Rogers, Peter Upjohn, Spencer & Perkins, William Kipling and John Johnson all appear. Both Ian White and Kurz cite Felix de Beaujour (A View of the Commerce of Greece, date unknown) writing of the trade with Turkey 'Markwick Markham are fictitious names. It is an old extinct clock manufactory whose name some London makers borrowed lest the Turks should be startled by new names'.\n\n ADOLPHE OSSO\n\nAdolphe Osso was born to Russian immigrant parents in Syria on the 8th September 1893. His death came on the 23rd August 1961, just as his last film 'Le capitaine Fracasse' with Jean Marais in the title role graced the cinema screens. Having started his career in the United States, Adolphe Osso returned to France in 1920 and founded the Societe anonyme francaise des films Paramount which he would run until June 1930. Acquired in 1925, this impressive musical clock which has remained in the family to this day, was part of his collection at his villa in Le Vesinet Le grand lac, a listed building which he sold in 1933.\nAdolphe Osso created his first independent production company in September 1930 and later went on to create further companies both in France and the United States from 1934 to 1958 and in Mexico between 1942 and 1945. Among the 120 films that he produced were « Le mystere de la chambre jaune » (1930) and « Le parfum de la dame en noir » (1931) both based on the popular detective novels by Gaston Leroux, « Paris-Beguin » (1931) which starred Jean Gabin and Fernandel, « La loi du Nord » (1939) with Michèle Morgan and Charles Vanel and « La reine Margot » (1954) starring Jeanne Moreau and Francoise Rosay. He also distributed many French and foreign films which without his generous financial help and the international reach of his commercial agencies, may not have ever seen the light of day.\n\nLITERATURE:\nBibliographie comparative:Ian White, English Clocks for the Eastern Markets, Ticehurst, 2012, pp. 261-285.\nA. W. J. G. Ord-Hume, The Musical Clock, Ashbourne, 1995.\nL.Yangzhen (dir.), Timepieces Collected by the Qing Emperors in the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 1995.\nR. C.R. Barder, The Georgian bracket Clock 1714-1830, Woodbridge, 1993, pp. 154-172.\nP.G. Dawson, 'Repatriated English Clocks', Antiquarian Horology, Vol. 13, No. 5, September 1982, pp. 434-7.\nO. Kurz, European Clocks and Watches in the Near East, Londres, 1975, pp. 77-88.


Home, Garden, Decorative Objects, Clocks, European, English, Brass, Enamel, Gold, Shell, George III


Natural imperfection, regardless from any major damages. In Excellent condition overall.

*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.

*Nota: il prezzo non corrisponde al valore odierno, ma si riferisce soltanto al reale prezzo di aggiudicazione al momento dell'acquisto.

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