The J. Paul Getty Museum

Mantel Clock

Object Details


Mantel Clock


Movement by Nicolas-Alexandre Folin (French, about 1750 - after 1815, master 1789)
and enamel plaques by Georges-Adrien Merlet (French, born 1754)




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1790–1800


Gilt bronze; enameled metal; white marble base; glass and gilt metal case

Object Number:



45.7 × 27.6 × 14 cm (18 × 10 7/8 × 5 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Known as a "skeleton clock" because of its exposed movement, this type of timepiece became popular at the end of the 1700s. Collectors appreciated the movement as an object of beauty, to be enjoyed as much as the case, which would formerly have hidden the elegant enameled dials.

Besides telling the time with the large dial, the lower dials indicate the days of the week and the days of the month. Above, a fourth dial records the phases of the moon.

The J. Paul Getty Collection of French Decorative Arts (October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973

Wilson, Gillian. "The J. Paul Getty Museum, 7ème partie: Le Mobilier Louis XVI." Connaissance des arts 280 (June 1975), p. 96, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), pp. 165, 180-81, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Clocks: French Eighteenth-Century Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), pp. 68-71, no. 14.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), p. 99, no. 129.

Miller, Carole Ann Lyons. "Clockwise Special Report: The J. Paul Getty Museum." Clockwise (August 1979), pp. 15-21, fig. 14.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 42, no. 92.

Borelli, Gian Giotto. Horloges et Pendules (Paris: Editions Fabbri, 1992), p. 7, ill.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 92, no. 145.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 140-47, no. 19.