Musical automaton clock by Xavier Tharin

By Tharin, Xavier (French, active 1840-1860)


This fine antique clock incorporates movement and sound and showcases the expert skills of 19th century maker Xavier Tharin, famed for his extraordinary automata.


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The rectangular clock case is made from ebonised wood, decorated with carved acanthus leaf scrolls to the sides, and features a moving interior scene to the front centre. The scene depicts two seated monks and a third standing around a table, within a monastery interior. The clock's automaton mechanism moves the figures within the scene, and can be operated using the two buttons and the pull cord at the side of the plinth on which the case is set. The plinth stands on six stepped feet and features a fine ormolu mount to the front centre depicting two swans drinking from a fountain, and further ormolu detailing to the edges. The white enamel clock dial is set into the cornice of the case, and features black Roman Numerals and is signed 'Tharin, a Paris'. The cornice is further decorated with fine ormolu mounts in the form of scrolled acanthus leaves

The movement can be accessed from the reverse and is stamped 'Tharin Paris', for Xavier Tharin, a Parisian maker of automata and musical clocks, active in the middle of the 19th Century.


Artist / Maker
By Tharin, Xavier (French, active 1840-1860)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1850
19th Century
Genre, Music / Musical
Ebonised Wood, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)
Black, Gold


54 cm / 21.3 inches
51 cm / 20.1 inches
20 cm / 7.9 inches


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