Large and very fine French Empire period ormolu and malachite mantel clock

GBP 24,000.00

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Object Description

Large and very fine French Empire period ormolu and malachite mantel clock
French, c.1825
Height 89cm, width 57cm, depth 23cm

This very fine, sculpturally decorated mantel clock dates to the first French Empire period, and combines excellent antique clockmaking with fine Classically-inspired sculpture to make a beautiful decorative piece. Both the backplate and the silvered brass dial, painted with Roman numerals, are stamped ‘JACQUIER, A PARIS.’ It bears the serial number 146 to upper left hand margin, and features steel moon hands set within a generous gilt laurel wreath cast bezel; it is cased in malachite (a later veneer), and richly adorned with gilt-bronze.

The case is surmounted with a gilt-bronze sculpture of the Roman leader Caesar who wears a toga and a laurel crown. He rests against a pedestal while holding a scroll in his hand, with another crown placed nearby. The fa├žade of the clock pedestal is mounted with an exceptional fine relief, which depicts the Roman God of war Mars standing between military trophies and Roman legionary eagle standards, inscribed SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus) and ‘NPI.’ Meanwhile the plinth base is mounted with another
cast frieze, that shows Mercury flanked by Ceres in a chariot drawn by Chimera. The sculptural decoration is finely wrought and is indicative of the French Empire period’s fascination with all things Neoclassical – the theme of Caesar and Mars in military triumph particularly apt for the militaristic and ambitious France of the early 19th century.

Object Details

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