This beautiful clock set—which comprises of a mantel clock and a pair of vases—was designed in France in c.1870 in a wonderful Renaissance Revival style. The set has been crafted from gilt bronze (ormolu) and ornately decorated with champlevé enamel. In the champlevé technique, designs are cut into the surface of the metal object, creating depressed areas which are then filled with vitreous enamel. The raised metal sections between the cutout areas form the outlines of the designs.
The mantel clock is composed of a tall rectangular case with a break arch top which is surmounted by a cylindrical feature with a pointed finial. The clock’s arched top is crowned by a sculptural figure of a cherub, and pointed finials top the four corners of the case. The case is mounted with a central circular dial which features black Roman Numerals and the retailer’s signature ‘SIMMONS, MANCHESTER & PARIS’. This dial is framed by a raised and slightly flared bezel. The clock case is flanked by four stylised free-standing columns with shaped shafts and leafy capitals. The clock stands on a rectangular stepped base with projecting corners, which is set on four bun feet. The clock’s cylindrical top, case, dial and base are beautifully decorated with champlevé enamel designs, composed of turquoise, navy, green, black and red vine-like patterns and floral motifs.
The pair of vases are designed in a matching style to the mantel clock. They are composed of ovoid bodies with waisted necks and flared mouths. They stand on splayed feet, set on raised bases. The vases are ornately decorated with black, navy, turquoise and red motifs. These take the form of serpentine vines, stylised leaves and flowers, and geometric profiles. Each vase is mounted with two handles which are decorated with classical female masks. The vases’ feet are ornamented with bands of acanthus leaves and their circular bases are supported on scrolled, leafy feet.
Clock- Height 42cm, width 21cm, depth 17cm
Vases- Height 31cm, width 16cm, depth 10cm