Mantel Clock

Object Details


Mantel Clock


Clock case attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (French, 1751 - 1843, master 1772)

Design attributed to Jean-Guillaume Miotte (French, 1746 - 1810)

clock dials enameled by Henri-François Dubuisson (French, active until 1823, master 1769)




Paris, France (Place created)


about 1785


Gilt and patinated bronze; enameled metal; vert Maurin des Alpes marble; white marble


53.3 x 63.8 x 23.5 cm (21 x 25 1/8 x 9 1/4 in.)

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On a white marble base, two Vestal Virgins tend a flame that honors the goddess of the hearth, Vesta. A drawing still exists that shows the clock was designed to sit on a mantelpiece, its classical theme a suitable reference to the fireplace below. The altar that houses the clock's movement is fitted with horizontal enameled and jeweled hour and minute rings, while a sacrificial procession underneath is shown in gilt bronze. A branch of roses draped over the edge of the altar points to the time.

Henri-François Dubuisson made the clock's dials.


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"Some Acquisitions (1981-82) in the Department of Decorative Arts, The J. Paul Getty Museum." The Burlington Magazine (May 1983) p. 322 and cover ill.

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Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar. The Adjectives of History: Furniture and Works of Art 1550-1870 (London: P. & D. Colnaghi and Co., 1983) pp. 44-45.

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Ottomeyer, Hans, and Peter Pröschel. Vergoldete Bronzen: Die Bronzearbeiten des Spätbarock und Klassizismus (Munich, 1986) vol. 1, p. 299, fig. 4.18.8.

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Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 52, ill.