French Empire period ormolu mantel clock by Lepaute

By Lepaute (French, founded mid-18th Century)


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This ormolu (gilt bronze) mantel clock was crafted in the period when Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor of France (1804-14, 15). The clock stands on a stepped rectangular base which is decorated with a central leaf-and-dart band and set on four bun feet. The base is topped by four free-standing columns with smooth shafts and laurel leaf patterned bases and capitals. A drum case with a circular clock dial is positioned between the columns. This is indistinctly signed ‘Lepaute à Paris’ and is intricately decorated with bands of diaper work, beading, leaf-and-dart and floral motifs. A circular floral pendulum hangs in the space below the clock case. The four columns support an entablature which features a cornice decorated with dentil and leaf-and-dart motifs.  

The clock was crafted by the Lepaute family who were important French clockmakers. The business was founded in the mid-18th Century by the brothers Jean-André and Jean-Baptiste Lepaute. It was then bought in the 1780s by their nephews, Henry and Pierre-Basile Lepaute. Henry left the business in the late 18th Century, and Pierre-Basile brought in his nephew, Jean-Joseph Lepaute, to help him manage the firm. Pierre-Basile continued to direct the Lepaute company in the early 19th-Century, accompanied by his son, Pierre-Michel. The Lepaute family supplied many clocks to the French royal family and Emperor Napoleon I in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries.


Artist / Maker
By Lepaute (French, founded mid-18th Century)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 19th Century
Early 19th Century
Empire, Napoleonic, Neoclassical
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)


41 cm / 16.1 inches
23 cm / 9.1 inches
14 cm / 5.5 inches


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