Empire period ormolu mantel clock by Piolane

By Piolaine, Michel-François (French, active from 1787)


This beautiful ormolu mantel clock, created during the Empire period, features a large sculptural figure of the goddess Pomona, an ancient symbol of fruitful abundance.


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This large Empire period mantel clock, by the celebrated maker Michel-François Piolaine, is entirely wrought from ormolu (gilt bronze). The clock features a plinth-form case with a protruding architrave and an overhanging cornice, between which and to the front is a figurative bas-relief panel. This panel, encompassed by a frame composed of stylised vine leaf and grape bunch motifs, presents a scene of four putti honouring the fruits of harvest before an altar laden with bounty: the figures blow horns and flutes and frolic in Bacchic celebration.

The clock drum, also architecturally formed, stands atop the base: its surface is adorned with similar bas-relief scenes and its dial, encompassed by a vine wreath, is inscribed with Roman numeral hour marks and contains a partially rubbed signature for Piolaine.

The drum is surmounted by a large seated full-length figure, also of ormolu. The figure most probably represents Pomona, the Ancient Roman goddess of fruitful abundance. She sits askew atop the drum, a horn filled with the products of harvest across her lap and supported by her left hand. In her right hand, outstretched, she holds a bunch of grapes. The bronze throughout is exceptionally finely cast and beautifully gilt.


Artist / Maker
By Piolaine, Michel-François (French, active from 1787)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 19th Century
Early 19th Century
Empire, Neoclassical
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)


62 cm / 24.4 inches
40 cm / 15.7 inches
14 cm / 5.5 inches


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