Sunday, March 17, 2013

Drawing of the Day: The Bull Clock, 1770

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here, we see a design for a clock.  The timepiece is resting on the back of a bull standing on a plinth which is pierced to reveal a view of a palace above a walled pool inhabited by swans. The second tier is supported by carved and gilt hippocamps and is encrusted with rococo shells.  

According to the V&A, there’s, “a wonderful story” which “involves this drawing by an unknown designer from the workshop of the goldsmith and clock-maker, James Cox (active in London from 1749 to 1791). It shows a bull clock on a table-shaped stand. The bull resembles the one on the Buffalo clock made about 1770 in Cox's workshop although the rock-shaped base is different. The clock is [in] the collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing. This drawing has been tentatively attributed to Charles Magniac, a craftsman trained as a chaser.”  

Well, you see, because of this drawing, museum workers were able to reunite the base of the above-mentioned buffalo clock with the timepiece.  Previously, the top and bottom were separated with no one realizing that these two fanciful items could possibly go together.  Upon seeing this sketch for a proposed similar clock, it became obvious that the Buffalo Clock and its odd plinth, were, in fact, a match. 

This drawing was made as a presentation for a client. However, we can’t be sure for whom the drawing was made.

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