French gilt metal and marble antique three piece clock set


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The clock set comprises a central clock and a pair of flanking urns, each crafted of gilt metal and marble. The clock is set upon a rectangular plinth of veined black marble on four gilt metal toupie feet. The plinth is decorated around the edges with gilt metal ribboning and flowers to the front corners. The circular clock face is mounted to the right of the plinth, and is set within a gilt metal case formed as a cured pediment with scrolled, acanthus leaf corners and foliage above the curved top. The clock dial features black Arabic numerals and gilt floral decorations on the white face. To the left of the clock case is a woman, seated on a low stool in swathed clothing, reading. The clock features an 8 day striking movement, which is stamped with an oval cartouche depicting an 'A' with a crown.

The pair of flanking urns are similarly decorated, each set on square plinths of veined marble with similar gilt metal adornments. The urns are crafted in gilt metal, and take the form of a goblet with fluting and leaf forms and featuring swags with central plaques hung between twin classical masks mounted to the handles.

The design of the clock is called 'pendule a la Geoffrin' after the first model of this kind, which was made for Madame Geoffrin, (French, 1699-1777). Geoffrin was an influential woman in Parisian society during the 18th Century who was best-known for hosting Salons, to which she invited leading literary, philosophical and artistic figures of the French Enlightenment. The female figure mounted upon the clock is thought to be cast after Geoffrin posing as a student for a painting of 1738 by Jean-Marc Nattier (French, 1685-1766), which was later sculpted by Laurent Guiard in 1754. Many varied examples were produced in the following decades, and one is now housed in the Wallace Collection, London.


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Early 20th Century
Early 20th Century
Figurative Art, Shakespeare, Theatre & Literature
Gilt, Marble, Metal
Gold, Green, White


28 cm / 11 inches
46 cm / 18.1 inches
16 cm / 6.3 inches


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