Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Precious Time: King George IV’s “Apollo” Clock, 1805

Pierre-Philippe Thomire, 1805
Gilt Bronze, Enamel, Marble
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
King George IV had many passions, but one of the few of them that we can discuss in polite company is his appreciation for clocks—particularly French timepieces.

Here, we see one of the many clocks collected by King George IV. This, like many others, is actually in use within one of the Royal residences and now belongs to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Made in 1805 by French horologist, Pierre-Philippe Thomire, this timepiece features gilt bronze figures and mounts upon a luxurious marble base. The figural group atop the predominate arch shows Apollo who was believed by the Romans to be the god of the sun. Here, Apollo reminds of the emergence of the sun each day as we see this representation of the god in his golden chariot rising from the sea. His chariot is drawn by four horses abreast.

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