Chased and gilt bronze cartel

France, Louis XV period
Movement signed “Bailly L’Aîné à Paris”.
Chased and gilded bronze

Comparable example:

  • “Bailly l’Ainé à Paris” (movement), Gilt bronze cartel, Louis XV period, private collection

The enameled circular dial, signed “BAILLY L’AINE A PARIS”, indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in rounds of five minutes in Arabic numerals by means of two openwork gilt bronze hands. It is set in an asymmetrical case decorated entirely in chased and gilt bronze. The whole is decorated on the left with molded motifs ending in scrolls, ivy branches and acanthus leaves, with flowers in full bloom, stylized combination of morning glories and trumpet creepers, and vine bulbs on the right. A gadrooned leaf highlights the left side of the dial. The dial is also decorated with lattice motifs centered on florets, which stand out against a blue fabric background.

The lower part of the dial is decorated with scrolls, and the shock-absorber with C‑shaped scrolls.

A rocaille cartel 

Developing from the 1720s onwards, the origins of rocaille ornamentation have several explanations. Most often, the shapes of shells and palmettes are put forward to explain its genesis. Some also put forward the idea that rocaille ornamentation was a continuation of cave decorations or petrified forms, which would explain its name. Advances in the natural sciences and the fashion for collections of natural curiosities such as madrepores, corals, petrified rocks and shells probably encouraged the development of this ornamental repertoire, characterized by the use of scrolls, foliage, shells, natural rocks and mineral motifs.

Although it spread throughout Europe, in some countries its exuberance went as far as asymmetry, where it was dubbed rococo. In France, it was expressed in a more sober form, where symmetry remained the order of the day for the general shape of the furniture or bronzes concerned. Gilt bronze, for example, was particularly well-suited to the expression of rococo vocabulary, sometimes going so far as to dare asymmetrical ornamentation, as illustrated by this cartel with its asymmetrical movements and scrolls. French sobriety, however, is the hallmark of the central dial.

Joachim Bailly 

Joachim Bailly l’Ainé, also known as Bailly l’Ainé, worked in Paris, where he became a master in 1749. He is listed at various addresses in Paris, including rue de Bourg l’Abbé in 1746, rue Saint-Honoré in 1755, rue Dauphine in 1772 and rue Saint-Denis from 1778. He worked in rue Saint-Honoré, then rue Dauphine from 1772. He signed his movements “Bailly l’Aîné”.


  • Hans Ottomeyer, Peter Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen: die Bronzenarbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus,München, Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986.
  • Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française, du Moyen Âge au xxe siècle, Paris, les éditions de l’amateur, 1997.
  • Pierre Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du xviiie siècle, Paris, édition Picard, 1987.


  • Height: 65 cm – 25½ inches ½ 
  • Length: 41 cm – 16¼ inches

  • Hauteur : 65 cm – 25 12 inches
  • Largeur : 41 cm – 16 14 inches

  • « Bailly l’Ainé à Paris » (mouvement), Cartel en bronze doré, époque Louis XV, collection privée

    • Hans Ottomeyer, Peter Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen: die Bronzenarbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus, München, Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1986.

    • Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française, du Moyen Age au XXe siècle, Paris, les éditions de l’amateur, 1997.

    • Pierre Verlet, Les bronzes dorés français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, édition Picard, 1987.