Around 750 of these are known, many of them in the Musée Condé at Chantilly and the Musée Carnavalet in Paris.
This 10 x 6in (25 x 15cm) example in red and black chalk and watercolour depicts Jean-Benjamin de la Borde who was Louis XV’s premier valet du Chambre de Roi at Versailles. It is for sale on October 1 at Ivoire Troyes with an estimate of €8000-12,000.
De La Borde was also a skilled composer and he collaborated with Carmontelle producing music to accompany the latter’s theatrical entertainments devised for the Duc d’Orléans.
The drawing also shows the astronomical clock created by the horologist Claude-Siméon Passemant with a case by Caffieri which was acquired by Louis XV and placed in Versailles in 1754. Recently restored, the clock can be seen at Versailles as part of the upcoming exhibition Louis XV, goûts et passions d’un roi.