Empire period ormolu mantel clock


This beautiful ormolu mantel clock is a wonderful example of Empire period design, within which classically-inspired sculpture played a key decorative role.


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This fine mantel clock is a superb example of Empire period design. The clock, crafted entirely from ormolu, features a rectangular plinth-form base, atop of which sits a square-profile clock drum and a figurative group.

The stepped base, raised on four domed feet, features a large frontal bas-relief panel, framed by a border frieze of anthemia and acanthus leaf motifs. The relief panel depicts two figures in a pastoral landscape: a man, wounded, is attended by a woman, who holds a bow. The scene likely portrays an interpretation of Diana and Actaeon, the unfortunate hunter whom Diana, the goddess of the hunt, condemned to death, as told by Ovid in the third book of his Metamorphoses.

Atop the base is situated the clock case, which is inset to the front with a circular dial inscribed with black Roman numeral hour indices. The most striking element of the clock is the large sculptural group that sits on top of the case: a classicised female figure, most probably Diana, is accompanied by her hound, her left elbow raised atop the head of a boar, and her crossed legs resting on a tree stump.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 19th Century
Early 19th Century
Empire, Neoclassical
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)


38 cm / 15 inches
27 cm / 10.6 inches
10 cm / 3.9 inches


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