Power and perfection

From Chinese emperors to French royalty, the rich and powerful have always surrounded themselves with things of beauty, as shown at this Sheppard’s sale

12th May, 2019
Depiction of Cúchulainn by Mark Finnan

Irish and English clockmakers encased their long-case clocks in plain timber. At Versailles, the French did it differently, as demonstrated by a headline lot at Sheppards, a 19th-century, ormolu-mounted, kingwood example, after the fashion of royal ébéniste Jean Henri Riesener, Marie Antoinette’s favourite cabinetmaker. With a white enamelled dial encircled by cherubs, it has an estimate of €20,000-€30,000.

Ormolu also features in a cabinet made to house the...

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