Thursday, April 4, 2013

Precious Time: An Empire Trophy Clock, 1810

French Case, 1810
Gilt Bronze, Chased and Cast
English Movement
The Victoria and Albert Museum

Clocks in the form of trophies with military themes were popular during the “Empire” period of France. This period’s tastes relied heavily on military motifs with classical styling.

This particular clock of cast and chased gilt bronze has been polished to a mirror-like shine. Dating to 1810,the maker of the case is unknown thought the movement is suspected to have been the work of John Moore & Son. The clockworks were updated later in the Nineteenth Century and replaced with an English movement though the French case remains unaltered.

In the clock’s central shield, the clock face is nestled within a wreath of oak leaves and is supported by the figure of an eagle holding a thunderbolt. Similar leaves adorn flanking figures of a griffin and an eagle as well as two plumed helmets—all symbols of military victory.

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