FRENCH MANTEL CLOCK DEPICTING ALLEGORY OF THE SCIENCES, XIX CENTURY.

Antiques - Miscellaneous / Clocks
Reference: Z6311

French desktop clock with Allegory of Sciences, 19th century.
Belgian marble and gilt bronze. France.
The white dial with Roman numerals features Breguet needles and part of the movement in sight. It is inside a protective glass, decorated with a band of pearls and highlighted with a magnificent vegetal decoration of gilt bronze that extends up and down. The watch case has been made in a striking Belgian black marble, located on four legs of rollers and with chamfered corners to place more decorative bronzes on them.
The choice of stone is determined by the magnificent result of contrasting gold and black. The so-called "Belgian marble" or "Noir Belge" refers to a type of limestone of that color extracted from several deposits of that country that was already known and used in Roman Antiquity but whose use was massive as a background for stone works hard or intarsia of the Renaissance and later. Since the middle of the 20th century, its exploitation has been decreasing due to the progressive difficulty of accessing the few remaining veins of the material, and its use is already restricted to the most exclusive creations.
At the top, two female figures flank a table covered by a cloth in which there are several books, documents and a globe. The two ladies, dressed in robes and made in patinated bronze, represent the Sciences.
Clocks of sculptural conception like the present used to be known as "French type" as opposed to the English. The eighteenth century was the time when watchmaking combined the technical advances of then with superb artistic works, characteristics that continued in force throughout the nineteenth century. It was common to choose works similar to the present one to normally decorate chimneys, but also tables and dressers in palaces and residences of importance. Both the movements and the materials used in the realization of these watches were expensive and required very skilled labor, giving rise to authentic jewels.
The allegories were a frequent theme in the decoration of sumptuous works of art in the nineteenth century, under the influence of Neoclassicism. In general, minor divinities were chosen for the decoration of these elements of social distinction, hence the frequent appearance of “putti” or allegories of the arts or sciences or of concepts such as time."


· Size: 73x25x87 cms.

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