Discover all 14 City of Paris museums

» Fermer
 Anonymous - Sedan chair
François Boucher - The little dog’s dance
Jean-Baptiste Greuze - Young Shepherd Holding a Flower
Hubert Robert - The Laundry
 Jean Moisy (clockmaker) and Jean-Claude Chambellan known as Duplessis (goldsmith) - Organ pipe clock with a monkey orchestra
Hubert Robert - Washerwomen in a garden
 Adrien Delorme and Pierre Roussel - Chest of drawers
Giambattista  Tiepolo - Alexander and Bucephalus
Nicolas Sageot - « Mazarin » table desk
Claude Joseph Vernet - The Tivoli Cascades
Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Jérôme de La Lande
 Manufacture de Beauvais - Tapestry : Psyche Led by the West Wind into the Palace of Love and Psyche Showing Her Wealth to Her Sisters
Roger Van der Cruse known as La Croix or RVLC (Attributed to) - Combination furniture : commode with doors, secretaire in drawer, wardrobe
Jacques Louis David - The death of Seneca
Giovanni Antonio (dit Gianantonio) Pellegrini - Esquisse pour le plafond de la Banque Royale : Le Déchargement en bord de Seine de marchandises en provenance de la Louisiane

Organ pipe clock with a monkey orchestra

Jean Moisy (clockmaker) and Jean-Claude Chambellan known as Duplessis (goldsmith)
Porcelain figures based on models by Johann-Joachim Kändler and Peter Reinicke
Circa 1755-1760
Gilded bronze work, Vincennes soft-paste porcelain flowers, hard-paste Meissen porcelain figurines
130 x 85 cm

This exceptional piece was probably a private commission, perhaps through the intermediary of a major marchand-mercier [decorative arts dealer operating outside the guild system] such as Lazare Duvaux, who sold a monkey orchestra to Madame de Pompadour in December 1753.

The contrast between gilded bronze and polychrome porcelain came into vogue in clockmaking during the 1730s.

Jean Moisy (1714-1782), the creator of the clock mechanism, became a master craftsman in Paris in 1753, at the age of 39. He systematically numbered all the movements leaving his workshop and this one bears the number 558.

Porcelain of different origins is juxtaposed on the same piece, such as the soft-paste Vincennes porcelain flowers and German hard-paste porcelain figures. At Vincennes, the taste for natural-looking flowers reached its peak in 1751. The exotic monkey theme was initially designed to decorate interior panelling.

The first porcelain monkey orchestras may have appeared in Mennecy in France post 1740, but they reached the peak of refinement in Germany. In Meissen in Saxony, the master modeller Johann-Joachim Kändler (1709-1775) set the standard shortly before 1750 with the charming design used here which he revisited and modified circa 1765 with the help of his collaborator Peter Reinicke (1715-1768).

Inventory number: 
ODUT01790 (A-U)
Monkey playing the timpani
Monkey playing the guitar
Monkey conducting
Monkey playing the bagpipes
Monkey playing the horn
Monkey carrying the timpani
Monkey playing the trumpet
Monkey playing the violin
Monkey playing the clarinet
Monkey playing the bagpipes
Monkey carrying the timpani
Monkey playing the hurdy-gurdy
Monkey singing
Monkey playing the clavichord
Monkey singing
Monkey playing the hurdy-gurdy
Inventory number : ODUT01790 (A-U)
Acquisition details : Purchased using interest from the Dutuit bequest, 1996
Room 11
Roll your mouse over the exhibit to view detail.
13 / 16