The inspiration for the case of a late 18th century clock, on offer at Hampel in Munich on December 9, can be traced to an incense burner supported by swans, designed by the French architect and draughtsman Charles de Wailly.
Around 1785 an unknown bronzier created a 20in (52cm) high case of similar design, which houses a movement with rotating enamel dials, so-called ‘cercles tournants’.
The provenance of the clock is well documented: the earliest-known owner was the French politician François Marie Taillepied de Bondy, whose legacy was auctioned by the Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1891.
Since then, it has belonged to several French collectors, the last of whom purchased the clock sometime after 1949.
This time around, the guide is €40,000-60,000.