The Chantilly porcelain manufactory, established about 1725 by the Prince de Condé, made this ornate clock case of soft-paste porcelain. The prince owned a large collection of Japanese porcelain, which the factory used as models for its earliest productions. By the time this unique clock was made, the factory had developed its own whimsical interpretations of Asian motifs, combining an exotic dragon and monkey with European flowers.
Clock movements such as this one, designed for the alcoves of bedchambers (pendules d'alcove), were fitted with a cord that struck the nearest hour and a quarter when pulled. This mechanism eliminated the need to light a candle to tell the time.