List Price £24,000
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By Balthazard, Michel (French, active late 19th Century)
This exquisite Louis XV style clock depicts the Greek myth where Zeus conceals himself as a bull to seduce and abduct the beautiful young woman, Europa.
The clock takes the form of a patinated bronze bull which stands on an ormolu (gilt bronze) base. This base is composed of scrollwork, stylised acanthus leaves and flowers. Supported on the bull’s back is an ormolu clock case with a white enamel dial at its centre. The dial features black Roman and Arabic Numerals and the maker’s signature, ‘Michel Baltazar/ Paris’. This name also appears on the clock’s movement. The clock case is shaped like a wreath of foliage which is topped by a pair of sculptures. These include a nude putto and seated young woman who wears a classical dress and holds a sun-burst medallion.
This mantel clock depicts the classical Greek myth known as the abduction of Europa. According to the myth, the god Zeus fell in love with a beautiful woman called Europa. He then disguised himself as a white bull among her father’s herd of cattle and kidnapped her, carrying her away to Crete. Europa bore Zeus three sons: Minos, the ruler of Crete; Rhadamanthys, the ruler of the Cyclades Islands; and Sarpedon, the ruler of Lycia.
Pierre Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de La Pendule Française du Moyen Age au XX Siècle, Les Éditions de l’Amateur, Paris, 1997, p. 132.
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