|Period:||1750 - 1900|
An eighteenth century French, striking, silver cased coach watch by ETIENNE LE NOIR, Paris, No 2260, ca. 1760. Diameter: 115 mm
The silver gilt case richly mounted with silver filigree work in floral motifs. The bezel and the outer-side of the case divided in eight sections in between gilt brass beaded rim borders, loose gilt brass pendant ring. The gilt brass full plate thirty-hour movement with a going train and an hour and half-hour striking train, both with fusée and chain. The going train with verge escapement, hairspring, brass and silver balance, regulator disk, pierced and engraved balance cock. Engraved signature, address and movement number, No. 2260. The striking work is regulated by a visible count wheel, mounted on the back plate with engraved hour indications, bell striking, mounted in the inside-back of the case. The richly decorated coach watch has a white enamel dial with Roman hours, minute ring and Arabic five-minute indications. Pierced and engraved gilt brass hands, Louis XVI style.
LE NOIR, Etienne II (b. Paris, 6 Novembre 1699; d. Paris, 20 August 1778). Protestant. Signed “Etienne Le Noir le fils”, then after 1740 “Etienne Le Noir”. Son of Etienne I, and Marie-Anne Gamonet. Married to Marguerite Huré (1723) . Father of Pierre-Etienne. Received as master on 26 November 1717 (F.M.). Associated (1750) with his son Pierre-Etienne. He retired in 1771. Established at the Quai des Orfèvres at the Répetition d’Angleterre. When he died in 1778, he left a fortune of 320,904 livres.
LE NOIR, Pierre-Etienne (b. Paris abt 1724; d. Paris aft. 1789). Son of Etienne II and Marguerite Huré. Married to Jeanne-Henriette Brevet (1750). Father of Etienne-Alexandre. Received as masteron 22 February 1743 (F.M.). Worked for his father, before becoming his partner from 1750 to 1771. Subsequently, he ran the family workshop alone, leaving it to his son, Etienne-Alexandre, who continued the business during the Consulate and the Empire. Established Quai des Orfèvres.
Activity of Etienne II and Pierre-Etienne Le Noir’s workshop.
This establishment reached its apogee under the direction of Etienne II and his son. They sold a great many clocks and watches in all kinds of materials, throughout the whole of Europe.
In 1759 the stock was valued at more than 28,000 livres. Their most lucrative activity at that time was watch production; sixty are recorded of which forty-five had gold cases and fifteen zilver, as well as twenty-two different clocks, fourteen in bronze and eight in veneer or marquetry.
They worked closely with many merchants: N. Gérard, T.J. Hébert, C.F. Julliot, F. Darnault, J.B. Tesnier, J.J. Allain, L. Duveaux, A. and L.F. Herbaut, H. Le Brun, the La Fresnayes father and son, J.J.F. Machart, and the Noyaux brothers in Amsterdam.
Clock cases were made for them by the cabinet-makers C. Cressent, Bernard I and Bernard II van Risamburgh, J. Dubois, J.P. Latz, J.Goyer, B. Lieutaud, A. Dubois, A. Foullet, J. De Saint-Germain, and the chasers N. Bonnet, J.J. de Saint-Germain, J.B. and R. Osmond, M. Poisson, and the Caffieris. Springs were supplied by the Richards, C. Buzot and P. Masson, enamelled dials by A.N. Martinière and J. Decla. The painter Hubert limned scenes on the enamelled watch cases, some of which were supplied by M. Du Cloux, X. Gide, F. Gervais and P. Alberton. Watch chains came from the goldsmith J.M.A. Ecosse.
The list of those owning clocks and watches signed Etienne Le Noirà Paris are witness of the prestige attained by this workshop. In France the nobility, financiers, magistrates and the Church were all clients.
Work signed by Le Noirs was purchased by the courts of Spain, Naples, Sweden, Saxony, Bavaria, Hesse-Cassel as well as many other German Principalities.
Museums: Aylesbury, Waddesdon Manor; Brussels, mussée royaux d’Art et d’Histoire; Calden, Schloss Wilhelmsthal; Cleveland, Museum of Art; Dresden, Museum für Kunsthandwerk; Spain, Patrimonmio National; Lyon, musée des Arts Décoratifs; Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum; Munich, Residenzmuseum; Paris, musée du Louvre, musée Nissim de Camondo, palais du Luxembourg; Saint Petersburg, Hermitage; Versailles, château.
Literatuur: Jean Dominique Augarde, LES OUVRIERS DU TEMPS, page 347
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