Ormolu mounted Sèvres style porcelain mantel clock

Attributed to Barbedienne, Ferdinand (French, 1810-1892) | Sévin, Louis-Constant (French, 1821-1888)


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The mantel clock is raised by four gilt-fluted and tapered cobalt blue porcelain columns, each of which culminates in an ormolu (gilt bronze) peg foot. The four columns support a table-form rectangular top, encompassed by an ormolu fluted frieze from which is draped ormolu tasselled fabric swags. On the short sides, these swags frame oval porcelain plaques—painted with birds and musical instruments—while on the front the swag encompasses the clock drum.

The clock dial is set within a scrolling ormolu clock drum, surmounted by a foliate scrolled and scallop shell motif. The porcelain dial, inscribed with Roman numeral hour marks within painted faux cartouches, is painted with a pair of cherubim and crossed torches encompassed by a wreath. The remnants of a faded signature exist below the crossed torches.

The clock is surmounted by a large twin-handled and lidded porcelain vase. The vase stands on a stepped ormolu podium, supported by a porcelain parcel gilt socle. The porcelain ground of the vase is of the same rich cobalt blue as the columnar legs previously described, and the surface of the vase is painted with foliate motifs executed in gilt. To the front of the vase is painted a Rococo style portrayal of a maiden with attendant and infant, perhaps alluding to Venus and Cupid. The reverse of the vase is painted with an idyllic landscape, framed by a gilt cartouche like the scene to the front. The vase is mounted with twin ormolu handles, which take the form of female nudes with twisted legs. The lid of the vase is surmounted by an ormolu pinecone finial.

The ormolu casting is attributed to Ferdinand Barbedienne, while the design of the clock is by Louis-Constant Sévin.


Artist / Maker
Attributed to Barbedienne, Ferdinand (French, 1810-1892), Sévin, Louis-Constant (French, 1821-1888)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Louis XVI, Neoclassical
Ormolu (Gilt Bronze), Porcelain
Blue, Gold, Multi-coloured


56 cm / 22 inches
29 cm / 11.4 inches
23 cm / 9.1 inches


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