Charles X period ormolu and malachite mantel clock by Galle

Galle, Gérard-Jean (French, 1788-1846)


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The mantel clock stands on a wide stepped rectangular base which is crafted from the green gemstone, malachite. The base is set on four ormolu (gilt bronze) paw feet and is decorated with an ormolu leaf-and-dart band and trophy motif. The base is topped by a malachite plinth-like case, with a circular dial at its centre. This dial features black Roman Numerals and the maker’s signature, ‘Galle Rue de Richelieu No 93’.  This dial is displayed behind a glass lens, within an ormolu wreath-like bezel.

Topping the clock case is an ormolu sculpture of a sphinx—a mythological creature with a human head, the body of a lion and wings of a bird. This creature faces a full-length ormolu figure of a Greek warrior in full armour. This is Oedipus, the tragic hero who, in Greek mythology, freed the city of Thebes from the sphinx by correctly answering its riddle.  

This clock was created by the prestigious bronzier, Gérard-Jean Galle (French, 1788-1846). Gérard-Jean was the eldest son of the famous metalworker, Claude Galle (French, 1759-1815). Gérard-Jean took over the family business upon his father’s death in 1815. Under his direction, the company maintained its reputation as one of the most important suppliers of bronzes in Paris. Galle created a variety of items, including candelabra, chandeliers and figural clock cases, and he was awarded a silver medal for his work at the Exposition de L'Industrie in Paris in 1819.


Artist / Maker
Galle, Gérard-Jean (French, 1788-1846)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
19th Century
Mythological, Neoclassical
Malachite, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)
Gold, Green


67 cm / 26.4 inches
51 cm / 20.1 inches
23 cm / 9.1 inches


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