List Price £18,000
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This superb malachite and ormolu mantel clock dates from the period of Charles X, when clocks were often crafted with large and impressive sculptural surmounts. The present clock features a later malachite veneer, which lends the almost two century old piece a fresh and vibrant appearance.
The clock features a two-tier stepped malachite base. The lower tier is separated from the upper, narrower tier by a moulded ormolu cornice, and is raised from the ground by scrolled ormolu feet joined by a reeded ormolu apron. The upper tier of the base is adorned with an ormolu blind cartouche, with each end of the cartouche terminating in a scallop shell scrolled emblem.
The base supports the square-profile malachite clock case, which contains a circular ormolu dial inscribed with Roman numeral hour indices and moulded with a frieze of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The dial is set behind domed glass.
Most strikingly, the clock is surmounted by a large ormolu figure. The figure is Urania, the Ancient Greek muse of astronomy. Urania, who is dressed in a light, classicising robe, is accompanied by emblems associated with astronomy and learning: she rests atop a malachite globe, for instance, and a number of large books rest by her side.
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