Music makes the clock go round:
Late Empire ormolu mantel clock, ca. 1820
The profusely embellished fire-gilt case is the image of making music, with on the left a flautist and on the right a lutenist in medieval dresses: troubadours. They are standing next to a column containing the movement, surmounted by a double music stand. A lyre is depicted in the middle of the front of the base with on both side horns of plenty and cherubs.
The typically French eight-day movement has anchor escapement with short silk-suspended pendulum end half-hour striking with a bell, controlled by a countwheel (visible on the backplate).
The time is indicated by a pair of blued-steel Breguet hands on an enamel chapter ring, around an engine-turned centre with the maker’s signature Bontems à Paris.
In the Romantic period nostalgia played an important role. In this case historical themes from the middle ages are depicted: troubadours who performed to add lustre to an occasion.
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