19th Century malachite, gilt and patinated spelter mantel clock


With its female allegory of Labour, this clock is a beautiful monument to the 19th Century, which is widely known as the age of industry.


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The mantel clock features a stepped rectangular malachite base which stands on patinated spelter feet, the front two of which are shaped like paws. The base is mounted with patinated spelter motifs. These include a lion’s mask with scrollwork and foliage, a leaf-and-dart band and a low-relief panel, depicting putti at work, centred on a medallion containing a profile portrait. Industrial, machine-like patinated spelter handles are fitted onto the sides of the base.

This malachite base is topped by a cylindrical patinated spelter case with a circular black marble dial. The dial features gilt Roman Numerals, contained within a circular gilt spelter egg-and-dart frame. This dial is contained behind a glass lens with a gilt spelter beaded bezel. The clock case is surmounted by a laurel wreath, propped up on a compass or pair of tongs. It is flanked by a seated female figure—an allegory of Labour—who wears a classical gown and a laurel wreath, and holds a sprocket-wheel and a long-handled hammer. The figure is accompanied by a miniature model of a steam train. On the other side of the clock case, there is an anvil, a set square and another crafts tool.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Classical, Neoclassical
Malachite, Spelter
Brown, Gold, Green


51 cm / 20.1 inches
57 cm / 22.4 inches
21 cm / 8.3 inches


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