The latest sale at Duke’s of Dorchester included this 16in (41cm) wide French chinoiserie ormolu and lacquered bronze mantel clock c.1750.
The dial to the clock is marked Gudin
Paris for the prolific and fashionable Quai des Orfèvres
workshop established by Jacques Gudin (1706-43) and later continued
by family members. Clients included wealthy merchants and the cream
of Paris society such as the Duke of Orleans and the Duchess of
The workings of the clock had been replaced
by a late 19th/early 20th century movement but with Gudin clocks it
is the sculptural qualities of the rococo cases that really
Given that the clock had previously been
turned down by a major London saleroom, auctioneer Guy Schwinge
could give the clock a cautious £500-1000 estimate for the sale on
February 19 but believed it to be "in wonderful condition and
absolutely right for the 5th Avenue decorators".
A Paris dealer dropped out at around £30,000
but others stayed in until they were finally beaten by a UK
collector at £54,000 (plus 19.5% buyer's premium).