Pendulum clock in gilt bronze “Atala rescuing Chactas”
Gilt bronze pendulum clock with black patina parts, depicting a scene from Chateaubriand’s novel, “Atala, or the Loves of Two Savages in the Desert”, published in 1801. Atala, the young Indian daughter of the tribal chief, rescues the Indian Natchez Chactas before his execution. The white enameled dial is signed “Degresilliers à Arras” and is inserted in the execution pyre covered with a lion skin in black patinated bronze. Weapons on the side. Rectangular base on spinning top legs decorated in the center with a bas-relief representing the funeral of Atala. Period threaded movement. Very good quality of chasing and patina, mercury gold. In working order.
Size : H 40cm x W 32cm x D 12cm
France, Empire period.
Lit: The story takes place in Louisiana, on the banks of the “Meschacebé” (Mississippi), in 1755. A young Frenchman, René, is received by the Natchez tribe. He becomes strongly attached to Chactas, one of the most revered chiefs of the tribe. Chactas, the adopted son of a Christian named Lopez, is taken prisoner by an enemy tribe, but Atala, a young Indian girl with a Christian education, frees him. They both run away. After wandering for a long time, they meet a missionary, Father Aubry, who undertakes to unite them by converting Chactas to Christianity. Atala’s mother, in order to save her daughter’s life before she was born, had promised before God that she would remain a virgin. In order not to succumb to Chactas’ temptation and to remain faithful to her mother’s promise, Atala poisons herself, despite her love for Chactas.
Inspired by François René Vicomte de Chateaubriand’s (1768-1848) trip to North America at the time of the Revolution, “Atala” is Chateaubriand’s first success, and will be universally admired for its humanistic character and rich description of the fauna and flora of the New World.
In stockContact us