French Empire antique and rare genre matelot mantel clock.

This antique French Empire clock is from the rare and sort after group of clocks known as genre clocks that often depicted everyday and amusing scenes from life and folklore. While some genre scenes were depicted in the late 18th century they were most popular in the early 19th century. Neihusser argues that they are a departure from the classical scenes so popular with the aristocracy after the French revolution. However it is clear that scenes relating to classical republics were even more popular after the revolution than before and that the genre scenes are an additional and amusing group of clocks rather than an alternative. Signed to the dial Cde Allier a Paris for Claude Allier known to have been working at the Rue St. Antoine from 1789 and to have have been used as a specialist by F. Berthoud. This particular clock was dated within the movement to October 1808 and must have been one of the very first of this model produced. The main theme of the clock is trade with a boatman in traditional dress handling a sailing boat with the clock set in a bale of goods. The proportions are bizarre but that is common with genre clocks and is part of their charm. Set upon four toupee feet the base with canted corners and decorated with applied ormolu mounts of crossed oars behind a barrel and anchors decorated with ropes. The boat is set upon an ormolu sea with wavelets and the finely poinced ormolu sail billows out. The ormolu is entirely original and in very good condition. The dial is of white enamel with Black Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic numerals marking the quarters. The movement is of 8 day duration regulated by a silk suspended pendulum. It is a bell striking movement striking the hours and halves by means of a countwheel. French signed Claude Allier a Paris and dated October 1808. 18.5 inches high by 14.8 inches wide by 5 inches deep (46 cms by 37 cms by 12 cms).

Stock Number: 5260

Price: £12,750

Availability: In Stock

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