Ormolu and Samson porcelain antique Chinoiserie mantel clock

By Samson et Cie (French, 1845-1969)


The Oriental design of this delicate antique mantel clock exemplifies the 19th century European fascination with Chinese art and culture.


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This very fine mantel clock was crafted by Samson et Cie in the late 19th century.

The centrepiece of this charming clock is the porcelain detailing. A white elephant wearing a saddle decorated with Chinese figures supports the clock dial, which features black Arabic numerals on a white face. The saddle is painted in a restrained colour palette with shades of green and red predominating. The back of the clock mechanism is encased in a porcelain surround further decorated with China inspired motifs. Elephants symbolise strength and good fortune adding a another meaningful feature to this sweet timekeeping piece.

The elephant stands upon an asymmetrical ormolu base formed of acanthus leaf and C-scroll forms, shapes synonymous with the European Rococo style. The clock dial is encircled with an ornate, asymmetrical ormolu frame of a similar design as the base.

On the reverse, the piece bears a red Samson mark.

Samson et Cie was a factory of ceramics founded in Paris in 1845. The factory produced very high quality imitations of earlier ceramics. It often produced pieces in the Orientalist style. However, their wares were not made to deceive the buyer but rather to satisfy the demand for those types of decorative objects.

Celebrating both Eastern and Western design styles, this charming mantel clock would be a superb decorative piece for anyone with a love for Chinese inspired objects.


Artist / Maker
By Samson et Cie (French, 1845-1969)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Animal / Animalier, Chinoiserie
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Porcelain
Gold, Green, Red, White


24 cm / 9.4 inches
17 cm / 6.7 inches
13 cm / 5.1 inches


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