Empire period gilt bronze mantel clock by Galle

GBP 9,500.00

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Object Description

This beautiful gilt bronze (ormolu) mantel clock was crafted in France during the period when Napoleon I was Emperor (1804-1814, 15). It was designed by the famous bronze caster and gilder, Claude Galle (French, 1759-1815). Galle was apprenticed to the fondeur Pierre Foy, and later took over his workshop in Paris. In 1786, Galle became a maitre-fondeur and began to receive commissions to supply bronzes for the royal palaces of King Louis XVI. After the French Revolution, Galle enjoyed the patronage of Napoleon Bonaparte. The dial of this clock is signed, ‘Galle/ Rue Vivienne No.9’.

The clock is a beautiful piece of Neoclassical design, which is topped by sculptures of Cupid and Psyche, who were lovers in classical mythology. Psyche sits on the cuboid clock case, and is depicted with butterfly-like wings. She wears a diaphanous, classical style dress, and holds a bowl in her left hand. Psyche is accompanied by the figure of Cupid, the god of love, who is pictured as a young nude putto with feathery wings. He stands on one foot, and stretches his arms out towards Psyche. A classical twin-handled vase stands on the clock case between them, and a laurel wreath and quiver of arrows lie at Cupid’s feet. At the centre of the clock case, there is a circular white enamel dial with black Roman Numerals. The case is set on a rectangular stepped base, which is decorated with rosettes, wreaths, and scrolling foliage. The base is set on four bun feet.

Object Details

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London W1K 2PP
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