List Price £22,000
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By Le Roy et fils (French, founded 1785)
This three-piece clock set is designed in a majestic Egyptian Revival style, which became fashionable after Napoleon I’s campaign in Egypt in 1798-9.
This beautiful set is comprised of a central clock and two flanking candelabra. All three pieces have been crafted from gilt and patinated bronze, and veneered (more recently) in the green gemstone, malachite.
The clock stands on a rectangular malachite plinth, which is decorated with an ormolu (gilt bronze) mount, taking the form of a winged sun, flanked on either side by a ureaus (rearing cobra). Above, the malachite clock body is shaped, so that it has two wing-like profiles, decorated with ormolu sculptures with snake bodies and falcon heads, topped by sun disks. At the centre of the body, there is a circular dial, which is crafted from black marble with gilt Roman Numeral hours. The clock body is surmounted by an ancient Egyptian style patinated bronze bust. The figure wears a parcel gilt headdress, with a uraeus on the front, gilt earrings and a gilt necklace. The plinth the bust is set on features a scarab beetle motif on its front, and the name ‘P. Gagac’ is signed onto its back.
Like the clock, the pair of flanking candelabra are designed in a bold Egyptian Revival style. The candelabra stand on malachite bases, which are identical to the clock’s in their design. Their stems are composed of classical patinated bronze vases, with gilt banding and scrolled, parcel gilt handles. Each vase-form stem is topped by three ormolu lights, two of which are supported on the heads of ibis birds, and the third is held between their outstretched wings. Each bird holds an ankh (an ancient Egyptian symbol for ‘life eternal’) in its claws, and the space between each pair of birds is decorated with a stylised palmette motif. The candle-holders take the form of leafy capitals, with simple sconces.
The clock dial is signed ‘Le Roy’, most likely for Le Roy et fils, the prestigious clock-making firm active in France from the late 18th Century onwards. Le Roy et fils supplied clocks to many notable figures in Europe, including the Emperor Napoleon I and his sister, Princess Pauline.
Clock: Height 51cm, width 37cm, depth 19cm
Candelabra: Height 45cm, width 24cm, depth 11cm
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