Cartel in carved and gilded wood, Mazzucchelli, Milan 1780 ca.

Mazzucchelli, Milan 1780 ca.


Wall clock in carved and gilded wood. The circle of the exhibition is contained by a fret around which the chest develops, on the top of which, a female face holds a vase with a flame from which ribbons descend. The lower part decorated with festoons of laurel leaves, presents an architectural structure, richly chiseled, with a window showing the pendulum on a golden background; a shelf with Greek fret and leafy head completes the piece of furniture. Alongside this architectural structure, two leafy volutes develop which curl partially cover carved Greek frets with a mirrored background. The enameled metal display presents the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes in Arabic numerals.

Dimensions: 88 x 46 x 15


Historical-critical analysis:

Giuseppe Beretti in his volume, Il mobile dei lumi, (to which careful examination is referred to) presents an almost identical clock, with an attached barometer signed Mazzucchelli on the barometer exhibition.ย 

As clearly evidenced in his analysis, it is a craftsman, probably also a merchant, who produced these watches in French fashion. The request of the noble Milanese families to furnish in French fashion is well documented. In his study, Giuseppe Beretti attributed some watches to Mazzucchelli and after the publication of his article, others emerged, giving rise to a corpus of works. Evidently this craftsman responded well to market demands with products updated to Parisian fashion but cheaper because they are made of wood rather than bronze.ย 

The quality of the carving is also careful in this example, precisely to imitate the bronze models. To confirm this reasoning, Beretti attaches some examples of the French cartels and a sheet of drawings for watches by Jean-Charles Delafosse from 1770 which are the obvious prototype of all these subsequent creations.


  • Giuseppe Beretti, Il mobile dei lumi, ed. In limine 2010

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