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One of the two twin longcase clocks, decorated with the imitation of green Far Eastern lacquer, comes from the castle in Podhorce, belonging originally to the Rzewuski family and subsequently purchased together with its furnishings by the Sanguszko family. The clock cases distinguish themselves with the pseudo-Chinese decoration painted in gold, enriched with European motifs and “Chinese” figural scenes and landscapes.

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One of the two twin longcase clocks, decorated with the imitation of green Far Eastern lacquer, comes from the castle in Podhorce, belonging originally to the Rzewuski family and subsequently purchased together with its furnishings by the Sanguszko family.
The clock cases distinguish themselves with the pseudo-Chinese decoration painted in gold, enriched with European motifs and “Chinese” figural scenes and landscapes. They also bear the stamp with the Krzywda coat of arms of the Rzewuski family.
The cases of the clocks from Podhorce belong to the variant elaborated by English carpenters and varnishers in the 2nd and 3rd decade of the 18th century and were probably made in the 4th or 5th decade of that century. They were produced in central Europe, assumedly in the workshop operating for the Rzewuski family. The authorship of the painted decorations can be hypothetically attributed to Józef Rogowski, a painter and author of the treatise on varnishing and “Chinese work”, whereas the mechanisms and clock dials present a typical, standard English model from the 2nd quarter of the 18th century. Due to the certain elements of dial design, they can be considered to have been made at about the same time as their casings. Although they belong to the earliest clocks provided with the workshop brand, ”William Jourdain London”, they were not made by the famous clockmaker. Their creator was probably one of several clockmakers — “bunglers”, working in Royal Prussia, partially on the basis of imported components, which today would be described as a “cheap imitation.” Both clocks, making a pair, belong to scarcely preserved furniture pieces from the Nobles’ Commonwealth, which were then described as “Chinese.” Furniture of this kind enjoyed particular popularity among the circles of wealthy nobles in the 2nd half of the 18th century.

Elaborated by Łukasz Sęk (District Museum in Tarnów), © all rights reserved

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