19th Century French Empire Gilt Ormolu Bronze Brocatelle Marble Mantel Clock


Exceptional French ormolu Empire mantel clock, circa 1810-1820. It represents the myth of Atlas and Heracles carrying the sky on his shoulders, sky in which is inscribed the dial in Roman numerals. Inside the celestial vault is hidden the movement of the pendulum. The statue of Heracles is in finely chiselled and gilt bronze, resting on a Brocatelle marble base and gilt bronze and chiselled with palmettes motif. The clock is protected by its original globe.

The eleventh of the twelve works of Heracles consists in bringing back the golden apples of an apple tree (gift of Zeus to his sister and wife Hera) from the fabulous garden of Atlas and his three daughters (the Hesperides), protected by the a hundred-headed dragon Ladon. Heracles begs Atlas to pick these fruits for him. Atlas agrees on the condition that Heracles support the celestial vault in his place during this time, but on his return Atlas refuses to take back his burden. By trick, Heracles pretends to consent, and claims to need to strengthen his grip. The giant lifts for a few seconds the weight of his shoulders; barely released, Heracles seized the three golden apples and fled. Heracles is easily recognizable for the club on his left, his main attribute. This weapon is a narrow piece of wood at the end that serves as a handle and is heavy and flared at the other end, to strike. Heracles would have made his club with a large branch of wild olive.

The clock is in excellent condition. The original gilding is beautifully preserved. It still has its original blown glass globe resting on a mahogany wood base. It is complete with its balance and key. Original movement with wire suspension. The clock is delivered completely revised by specialized watchmaker.


H. cm 36,5

D. cm 11,5

1 in stock



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Packing in customized wooden box.
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