J.M. Van der Kemp
(Active from 2nd part of 19th century)
Important “Venus” clock
Signed J.M. Van der Kemp (sculptor) on the back of the Venus figure,
monogramed VDK on each carved panel, and Van der Kemp, Paris on the clockwork
Signed Paillet (miniaturist) on the ivory dial
Signed AD Mougin, Deux Médailles (clock-maker) on the clockwork
Height : 93 cm (36 2/3 in.) ; Width : 41 cm (16 in.) ; Depth : 21 cm (8 1/4 in.)
An exceptional large carved walnut and boxwood domed architectural mantle clock, with classical detailed moldings on the shaped base and arched top, adorned with fine onyx columns and pilasters headed by gilt-bronze Corinthian capitals. A depiction of The Birth of Venus surmounts the clock as a carved figure standing with billowing drapery in a scallop shell flanked by a pair of dolphins. The front and sided panels made in boxwood are extremely well-carved in low-relief, decorated with further figures of Venus in various poses. For the front one, J.M. Van der Kemp carved another stunning scene of The Birth of Venus, after the famous masterpiece painted by Alexandre Cabanel in 1863. Above this scene, beautiful carved ribbon ties and floral garlands surround the round ivory dial painted by the miniature painter Ferdinand Paillet (1840-1918), whose one of his works is still preserved at the Louvre Museum (inv. RF 22874).
The Birth of Venus by Cabanel, was first presented at the 1863 Salon of the French Artists and then at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition. The painting was bought by Emperor Napoleon III (now exhibited at the Orsay Museum, inv. RF 273).