Mantel Clock
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Clock case attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire, metalworker; design attributed to Jean-Guillaume Moitte, sculptor
French, Paris, about 1785
Gilt and patinated bronze; enameled metal; vert Maurin des Alpes marble; white marble
H: 1 ft. 9 in. x W: 2 ft. 1 1/8 in. x D: 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.

Detail Views

Gilt bronze basket of flowers
Gilt bronze basket of flowers