The seven-day movement has a going train with an anchor escapement and a countwheel striking train. The dial is signed Le Roy Horlogier De Madame à Paris.
This highly decorative mantel clock depicting a woman reading at a desk, below which the dial is concealed, represents one of the most popular models of reading women. These were much in vogue during the Empire period as mantel clocks for libraries and study rooms. Various images of this mantel clock dating from that period are known. A design drawing in the Bibliothèque Nationale notes “Reiche 1806”, on which basis the design is attributed to Jean-André Reiche (1752-1817). A similar design drawing in the Bibliothèque Doucet also appears to be by Reiche’s hand; another drawing exists in a sales catalogue by an unknown bronzeworker. Various models are attributed to Claude Galle (1759-1815).
This model is larger than the most common version. The Empire table of this model features openwork; in the smaller model, the movement is incorporated into the table, which is completely covered by a cloth. Here, there is no cloth and the table legs feature attractive lion’s heads.
The woman, Lectura, is clothed in an antique robe and sits in a chair, reading. Upon the table are an oil lamp and a book. The marble base is decorated with two goose feathers.
For the design drawing of the small model, see:
Hans Ottomeyer & Peter Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronze, Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus, Munich 1986, p. 374
Private collection, London
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