Antique ormolu mounted Boulle cartel clock


This superb wall-mounted cartel clock features striking ormolu mounts and is ornamented by burnished brass inlayed with natural tortoiseshell in the manner of Boulle.


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This wall clock is formed of two parts: the clock case itself and the wall-mounted bracket that supports the case. The waisted clock case is of violin body form. The case stands on four S scrolled ormolu (gilt bronze) feet, which are joined at the front and the rear of the case by a scrolled ormolu frieze. The body of the case is formed of wood, which is ebonised on the lower and upper closed portions of the sides. The front of the case includes a large violin body shaped window, the top of which houses the clock drum, and the bottom of which allows an open view of the decorated backboard. The front of the case, along the outer edge and the edge of the window, is encompassed by ormolu mounts, the most striking of which being the Classical mask at the top and the two smaller masks mounted on each side.

The front façade of the case, as well as the open view of the backboard, is ornamented with brass inlayed with natural tortoiseshell in the manner of Boulle. The inlay is wrought into a variety of decorative schemes, including geometrical forms at the sides and foliate motifs at the top and bottom. The visible surface of the interior backboard is decorated in a similar manner but includes the silhouette of a Classical figure holding a spear and shield. He is flanked by two birds and surrounded by scrolling arabesques.

The case is surmounted by an ebonised wood top, upon which stands a Classical winged figure, formed of ormolu, who blows a horn. The clock dial is of white enamel and is inscribed with Roman numeral hours in addition to Arabic numeral five-minute marks.

The fanciful bracket that supports the case is similarly decorated. It is of ebonised wood, mounted with ormolu acanthus leaves and similar foliate forms, and mounted at the bottom with a scrolled acanthus leaf style finial.

The clock movement is signed ‘Robert et fils a la Chaux des Fonds’.

Clock: Height 104cm, width 49cm, depth 19cm
Bracket: Height 45cm, width 57cm, depth 30cm


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
19th Century
Boulle, Classical, Louis XIV
Brass, Ebonised Wood, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Tortoiseshell
Black, Gold, White


104 cm / 40.9 inches
49 cm / 19.3 inches
19 cm / 7.5 inches


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