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Maurice Dufrène Gilt Bronze Dancing Figures Clock


Gilt bronze dancing figures, modeled by Félix Voulot for the Parisian atelier La Maison Moderne, decorate this French clock by Maurice Dufrène. This phenomenal piece of sculpture, which doubles as an elegant timepiece, captures the height of the Art Nouveau movement infused with the exorbitance of Louis XIV's courts. The sweeping, sinuous lines of the clock's body are hallmarks of the Art Nouveau's naturalistic extravagance, while the lavish nature of the gilting and the complexity of the design, which suggests opulent motion, proposes palatial intentions for this piece.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: S-14554
Artist: Maurice Dufrène (clock), Félix Voulot (figural sculpture)
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 21.75" height, 8" width, 5.5" depth
Materials: Gilt Bronze, Glazed porcelain (watch face), Clock parts
Signed: "F. Voulot 1900"
Literature: Clock pictured in The Paris Salons: 1895-1914, Volume V: Objects d'Art & Metalware, by Alastair Duncan, p. 38 and 227; Clock also pictured in L'Orfèvrerie et Le Bronze, L'Art Decoratif, by Charles Torquet, p. 207

Exhibition History: Similar model of this clock, also by Maurice Dufrène, is part of the permanent collection of the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg

Maurice Dufrène's furniture designs show that he appreciated craftsmanship, with his designs from 1910 onward combining structure and decoration in harmonious balance of austere and neoclassical, reminiscent of the Louis XVI style. While he began as a student of Art Nouveau, his style became simpler and more angular in the 1930s as he leaned more towards the Art Deco aesthetic.