French Empire mantel clock, Laurent

French Empire mantel clock, Laurent

Price: Price on request

Offered by Kollenburg Antiquairs BV

The movement has an eight-day going train with an anchor escapement. The striking train with countwheel sounds the hours fully and half hours with a single strike. The dial is signed Laurent à Paris and has a date display in the centre. Roman numerals mark the hours; the minutes are indicated using Arabic numerals.

The movement is centrally placed within the clock’s composition. Sitting on the right side of the clock’s casing is an elegant female figure, dressed in an antique robe and playing a harp. Her sheet music lies on a tripod guéridon, and she is looking over her shoulder at Amor, who bears a sheet of parchment with the words “Bouton de rose”, or “rosebud”. His bow and torch rest next to him upon a tabouret with lion’s feet. Below the dial is an elaborate swathe of drapery. The entire composition stands upon a base of green marble, decorated with bronze appliqués that refer to the narrative embodied in the composition. The marble block is borne by six elegant feet that are decorated with dependent bunches of grapes; these stand upon a gilt bronze baseplate with flattened ball feet.

The clock’s unusual design was inspired by a poem titled Bouton de rose (Rosebud) by Constance-Marie de Théis, princess of Salm-Dyck (1767-1845). The poem was published in the Almanach des Grâces in 1785, and became famous in the late eighteenth century, when it was set to music by the composer Louis-Barthélémy Pradher (1782-1843). The popular singer Pierre-Jean Garat (1762-1823) performed the song in fashionable salons, dedicating it to the beauty of Josephine, the wife of the soon-to-be emperor Napoleon.

The clock can be attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire.
Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) was one of the most famous bronze casters and ciseleurs (engravers) of the French Empire. Although trained as a sculptor, Thomire chose to instead pursue the more lucrative profession of bronze-casting, like his father, and grew into the most prominent bronze artist of the eighteenth century.

Private collection, Amsterdam
ca. 1805
gilt bronze, enameled dial, vert de Grèce marble
Laurent a Paris
50 x 50 x 19 cm

Offered by

Kollenburg Antiquairs BV

Postbus 171
5688 ZK Oirschot
The Netherlands

+31 499578037
+31 655822218

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