A rare Royal ormolu clock
A rare Royal ormolu clock
Delivered for the Countess du Cayla at the castle of Saint-Ouen
Object N° 1608

Bollard clock in chiseled gilt-bronze, decorated with palmettes and florets, friezes of ovals, acanthus leaves and pearls. The enamelled dial indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes, is surrounded by water leaves. The gilt bronze apron with decoration symbolizing the royal ermine, discreetly corroborating the royal provenance of this clock.

Rectangular base on glides. With his keys.

Restauration period, circa 1820.

By Lucien-François Feuchère (c. 1760-c. 1841).

H. 37 x L. 20 x D. 11 cm.


- A probably private commission of King Louis XVIII for his favourite.

- Zoé Talon, Countess du Cayla (1785-1852), Château de Saint-Ouen.

- Her daughter Valentine de Baschi du Cayla (1806-1885), wife of Edmond de Beauvau-Craon (1795-1861). She moved all the furniture from Saint-Ouen to the Château d'Haroué in 1869.

- Then by descent, the Princes of Beauvau-Craon at Haroué Castle, up to the last owner, Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon (born in 1953).

- Rémy Le Fur AuctionArt sale, Choosen pieces, Drouot, June 15, 2015, lot 49.


- Inv(entary) after the death of Mme La C(om)tesse du Cayla, April 17, 1852, f° 71.

- The model by Feuchère reproduced in Vergoldete bronzen, Pröschel & Otto Meyer, vol. I, p. 398.

- Our clock cited as having been forgotten during the classification by the French State and having been announced during the sale as coming from the castle of Saint-Ouen, in: La Tribune de l'Art, June 15, 2015, "Preemption of a painting by Claude Jacquart by the Musée de Lunéville ”, article by Didier Rykner.


It was during weekly meetings on Wednesday afternoons, but also certainly thanks to the help given to him by the king, who has been widowed since

1810, that Zoé Talon becomes his confidante and takes an increasingly important part in the life of the monarch, influencing him even in his policy (one remembers the word of Marshal de Castellane: "the favorite governs France"). Zoe's charm, beauty and grace, supported by unwavering support for the monarchy, made the king surrender his arms, who made her his favorite in 1817, the blanket of gifts and had the new castle of Saint-Ouen built for her between 1821 and 1823, thus giving it an official status which it will keep until the death of the King.

Saint-Ouen is a major symbol for Louis XVIII. It was there that he wrote the Constitutional Charter of June 4, 1814, before his official entry into Paris. The old castle was destroyed by the Prussians in 1815. The King then had it razed in 1821 and asked the architects Jean-Jacques-Marie Huvé (1783-1852) and Jacques-Ignace Hittorf (1792-1867) to build a new one. . In a Palladian style and more up to date, it is finished, since it was purchased on October 29, 1822 by Madame du Cayla in Huvé. In reality, it was offered by Louis XVIII and inaugurated on May 2, 1823. For the King, this new castle is a sort of sanctuary of the Constitutional Charter and he tries to convince Zoe of the strength and interest of this symbol. she must become the guardian.

To decorate the new castle, the King called on the best artists of his time: Pierre-Antoine Bellangé for the furniture, Thomire and Feuchère for the bronze lights and candlesticks, the Sèvres factory for the crockery (the porcelain lunch was was sold in Paris in 2005), François Gérard for the paintings.

In 1850, faithful to the Bourbon line, the countess wanted Saint-Ouen and its contents to go to the count of Chambord, nephew of Louis XVIII or, in case of refusal, to the city of Paris on condition that it honored the memory of Louis XVIII. On the death of the countess of Cayla, the count

de Chambord having refused this gift, his daughter Valentine brought an action against the city of Paris in order to regain possession of the castle. She succeeds but decides not to reside in Saint-Ouen and transfers the furniture and paintings to the Château d'Haroué, where she had lived since her marriage to Prince Edmond de Beauvau-Craon. The furniture having been bequeathed to the last occupant of the castle, Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon, our pendulum remains one of the last testimonies of this prestigious history still in private hands.