This truly monumental mantel clock is by Beurdeley, regarded in its own day and since as one of the most prestigious makers of luxury goods in France during the 19th Century.
The present clock is wrought in the Louis XV style from ormolu, or gilt bronze. The case is raised on four ormolu legs, each foot formed as a scrolled rocaille and set to the shoulder with an espagnolette. The case itself is richly detailed: the front, below the dial, is adorned with an ormolu figure of a reclining woman, raised from the surface in high relief and rendered with sculptural detail. The top of the case features a crown composed of Cupid seated on a cylindrical podium, which is mounted to the front with a classical profile medallion. The shoulders of the case are mounted with four ram’s head masks, while the remainder of the case features rich foliate detailing.
The circular dial is comprised of white enamel cartouches inscribed with Roman numeral hour marks set into ormolu, the ormolu superbly cast and chased with a scrolling forms and other motifs.
An enamel plaque below the dial reads ‘A. Beurdeley Fils / Paris’, while the reverse of the portrait medallion above the dial is marked ‘B.Y’ for Beurdeley. The movement is incised ‘J. Lefebvre Fils / Paris.’
- Exhibited in the International Exhibition of 1880 in Melbourne, Australia - Sold at the Vente Beurdeley at the Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, held on 6-9 May 1895, lot 42 - Bought back by the Beurdeley family for 1,360 francs - Sold in another sale held on 19 October 1897, lot 30
Illustrated in C. Mestdagh, L'ameublement d'art français: 1850-1900 (Paris, 2010): 156.