Membre du Syndicat National des Antiquaires.
Membre da la chambre nationale des experts spécialisés.
I am a Paris-based dealer of French and European Works of Art and Clocks from the 17th to the 19th centuries with a particular specialty in French 18th and early 19th century gilt bronzes and gilt bronze-mounted pieces. I opened my first gallery over 30 years ago in the Rue de Beaune and have been at my current location in the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré for 15 years.
My initial training as a clock and watch restorer has given me a very strong technical understanding of the works I sell. Each piece must meet stringent criteria for authenticity: for clocks, the movement, dial and case must all be original and the gilt bronzes must preserve their original mercury gilding and chasing. Consequently, I have become a leading authority in these fields and actively advise not only international collectors but auction houses and other dealers who regularly seek my opinion on authenticity issues. I am a member of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires and the Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés.
Since the beginning of my career, I have bought clocks and works of art which combine gilt bronze with Asian, Meissen or Sèvres porcelain. I find the contrast between the two materials especially appealing.
In the 18th Century, the only artificial light came from candles, meaning fabrics had to be woven in bright colors. Today, the glare of electric lights means one no longer understands the subtle differences between the burnished and chased surfaces which made the gilt bronze shimmer in candle-light.
The lack of connoisseurship has always created a polemic around the dating of gilt bronzes. Wouldn’t it be better if buyers and collectors realized that errors are commonplace in the catalogues of salerooms large and small, in France and abroad, from the humblest to the most prestigious? Sometimes the errors are to the client’s detriment and sometimes in their favour. Gilt bronzes catalogued as genuine 18th Century turn out to be later copies from the 19th or 20th Centuries.
Conversely, pieces described as style in reality date to the 18th Century.In both cases, there is an enormous difference in value.
A bronze which shines like new can of course have retained all of its original mercury gilding (à l’ormolu) and one sees it today as it would have appeared in the 18th Century. A gilt bronze which shows signs of wear can also have been re-gilt at a later date and been rubbed to create false
signs of wear.
I have always felt and still feel strongly that patina does not exist on gilt bronzes. In some cases, the piece is covered in dirt and it makes sense to clean it delicately, using the appropriate products to bring it back to its original appearance. In others, the gilding is very worn or may have disappeared altogether (often the disastrous result of use of the brass cleaning product, Mirror). Needless to say, it is always possible to not wash a gilt bronze and leave it in its dirty state; if the original gilding remains it can reappear unaltered one day, no matter how long one waits.
Time does not alter gold
My clients come from around the world from countries such as the USA, Brazil, Australia, Switzerland, Italy and of course France. I have also made important sales to museums, including the following:
• J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu (Louis XVI gilt bronze pendule aux vestales)
• Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Lyon (painted marble clock by Revel)
• Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (a pair of Louis XIV chenets attributed to Boulle)
• Musée de la Légion d'honneur San Francisco USA, un mortier en porphyre antique d'Egypte orné d'une monture d'époque Louis XIV
Most recently, the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation purchased in October 2013 an important French clock representing France and Mars for the Dallas Museum of Art.
I am also honoured that the noted collector, Dr. Horace Wood Brock, has selected several major purchases made from my gallery for his collection for long-term loan to the Frick Collection, New York. ( link )
I started primarily as a clock dealer, however, my business has evolved in recent years to focus on objects and bronzes d’ameublement such as ormolu-mounted porcelains and marbles, wall lights, candelabra and even small gueridons. While I continue to handle clocks, they must be first and foremost works of art, even if many of them are also of horological interest.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The J. Paul Getty Museum today announced the acquisition of an important collection of eighteenth-century French decorative arts assembled by Dr. Horace Wood (Woody) Brock, one of the world’s foremost economists. The acquisition is a combined gift and purchase. Read the article
126, Rue du Faubourg Saint – Honoré (Angle 38, rue de Penthièvre) 75008 Paris
Tel : +33(0)1 42 25 04 84 - Mob:+33(0)6 10 34 14 17
capital de 500.000€ - R.C.S. Paris B 393 193 230
Siret 393 193 230 00025 – Code APE 525Z
TVA/CEE FR 47 393 230
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