Napoleon III period gilt and patinated bronze clock set by Denière

By Denière et Fils (French, 1804-1903)


This large and impressive clock set by the celebrated manufacturers Denière et fils includes a magnificent bronze sculptural group after the sculptor Clodion.


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This superb three-piece clock set, crafted in the Louis XV style from gilt and patinated bronze, is by the important producer Denière et fils. The firm, which was founded in 1804, reached its zenith under Emperor Napoleon III, who awarded the company the prestigious honour of ‘Fornisseurs de Roi’, or King’s Suppliers. Napoleon III commissioned the firm to produce various bronze objects of art, including two pairs of candelabra in 1855 for the Palais Royal. The present clock set is a fine example of the high quality of the firm’s production.

The set is comprised of a central mantel clock and a pair of en suite flanking candelabra. The clock features a shaped gilt bronze (or ormolu) case, richly moulded and modelled with a variety of detailing. The case is raised on rocaille-form feet and is centred with a white enamel dial inscribed with Roman numeral hour indices and Arabic numeral five-minute marks. The dial is flanked with ormolu floral garlands, is centred above with a classical mask, and set below with a floral bouquet. The remainder of the case is finished with a variety of scrolling, foliate forms, all deftly wrought from gilt bronze.

Strikingly, the case is surmounted by a large and impressive patinated bronze sculptural group. The group, which is after a model by the famed sculptor Claude Michel, known as Clodion, depicts two children playing with a goat. The composition has classical connotations: the cherub is a motif common to classical art, while the goat is associated with the bacchanalia. The sculptural group is superbly well wrought: the children and the goat evince great fluidity of movement and demonstrate a broad variety of postures and gestures, while the patina is warm and variegated.

The en suite candelabra are similarly decorated, each featuring an ormolu base in the Louis XV style and a patinated bronze stem modelled as a cherub. Each candelabrum issues six ormolu lights, each branch ornately scrolled and moulded with foliate detailing.

The clock dial is signed ‘Denière Ft. de Bronzes / A Paris’, while the movement is stamped for Denière and numbered ‘3489’ and stamped ‘Cailleaux’ for the manufacturer of the movement.

Clock: Height 59cm, width 52cm, depth 23cm
Candelabra: Height 71cm, width 33cm, depth 28cm


Artist / Maker
By Denière et Fils (French, 1804-1903)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1870
Late 19th Century
Louis XV, Napoleon III, Rococo
Enamel, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Patinated Bronze
Brown, Gold


59 cm / 23.2 inches
52 cm / 20.5 inches
23 cm / 9.1 inches


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