French Empire period ormolu and malachite mantel clock


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The mantel clock was crafted in the early 19th Century, but has been more recently veneered in the precious green gemstone, malachite.

The clock is composed of a trabeated structure which stands on a rectangular base, on four ormolu (gilt bronze) bun feet. The front of the clock base is mounted with an ormolu plaque which is decorated with stylised anthemion motifs, and its upper edge is lined with an ormolu bead-and-reel band.

Topping the base are a pair of vertical rectangular supports with diamond-shaped centres, which stand on short plinths. The supports are decorated with ormolu mounts, taking the form of stylised anthemions, flowers, and diamond frames. Their bases are edged with ormolu beading and the plinths with ormolu ropework bands.

The two supports are topped by a horizontal member which is decorated with ormolu rosettes and beading. At its centre, there is a white enamel dial with black Roman and Arabic Numerals. This dial is encircled by an ornate ormolu bezel and set within an ormolu drum case. The space below the dial is decorated with an openwork ormolu design, composed of tasselled draperies, stylised floral motifs, mythical creatures and a classical mask. An ormolu pendulum, with a sun-burst mask at its tip, hangs below.

The clock case is flanked by two ormolu anthemion-shaped finials, and it is crowned by an ormolu flower basket which is draped with fruiting grape vines.


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


52 cm / 20.5 inches
32 cm / 12.6 inches
10 cm / 3.9 inches


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