Mantel Clock (Pendule)

Object Details


Mantel Clock (Pendule)


Movement maker Paul Gudin (French, active about 1729 - 1755)

Case attributed to André-Charles Boulle (French, 1642 - 1732, master before 1666)




Paris, France (Place created)


about 1715 - 1725


Oak veneered with tortoise shell, blue-painted horn, brass, and ebony; enameled metal; gilt bronze mounts


101 x 46 x 28.6 cm (39 3/4 x 18 1/8 x 11 1/4 in.)

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The figures on this clock represent Love conquering Time, a theme often repeated on French clocks of the early 1700s. The cupid balanced on the top originally held a long-handled scythe, an attribute of Father Time, who reclines below and holds his usual scales. The case's front and side surfaces are veneered with tortoiseshell, brass, and ebony. A recessed panel of blue horn, decorated with a brass trellis enclosing rosettes, is set below the dial. The legs are also set with panels of blue horn, which still retains its vibrant color.

While the clock's dial appears to be contemporary with the case, the movement is not. The blank gilt-bronze cartouche beneath the face may once have held an enamel plaque inscribed with the name of the original movement maker. Later in the eighteenth-century, Paul Gudin set the present movement in the case and painted his name on the enamel dial.

Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (16)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, September 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012
Related Media
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    Audio: Mantel Clock (Exhibit: PLL)