Antique French Boulle Mantel Clock on Stand circa 1860
Antique French Boulle Mantel Clock on Stand circa 1860
Antique French Boulle Mantel Clock on Stand circa 1860
Antique French Boulle Mantel Clock on Stand circa 1860
Antique French Boulle Mantel Clock on Stand circa 1860

Antique French Boulle Mantel Clock on Stand circa 1860

c. 1860 France

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This is a beautiful antique French inlaid 'Boulle' and ormolu mantel clock on stand, circa 1860 in date.

This clock has a fabulous brass and enamel dial and a bell striking movement with a stamped mark for J Marti. There is also a stamp of the maker:
Conrad Felsing, Berlin. There is also a serial number underneath the base written in red chalk.

The case and stand is of beautiful Boulle, which is red tortoiseshell with cut brass inlaid decoration, and it is applied with scrolled ormolu mounts and has swept caddy top.

The waisted arched door applied with a winged putto, the 4.75" enamel dial with inner blue Roman hours and outer Arabic five minute divisions and pierced brass hands. The brass twin train movement with outside count wheel strikes on a gong, the backplate with German retailer's mark, with maskhead brass pendulum, case key and winding key.

It is rare to find a Boulle clock with its original matching stand, and even rarer to find one with the Boulle work in such good condition.


You are viewing this item in its excellent original untouched condition. Any restoration that is required will be accomplished before delivery and is included in the price.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 63 x Width 32 x Depth 17 - Clock and stand together

Height 57 x Width 25 x Depth 11.5 - Clock

Height 6 x Width 32 x Depth 17 - Stand

Dimensions in inches:

Height 24.8 x Width 12.6 x Depth 6.7 - Clock and stand together

Height 22.4 x Width 9.8 x Depth 4.5 - Clock

Height 2.4 x Width 12.6 x Depth 6.7 - Stand
André-Charles Boulle(1642 – 1732), was the French cabinetmaker who is generally considered to be the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry. His fame in marquetry led to his name being given to a fashion of inlaying known as Boulle (or in 19th-century Britain, Buhl work).

Boulle appears to have been originally a painter, since the first payment to him by the crown of which there is any record (1669) specifies ouvrages de peinture. He was employed for many years at Versailles, where the mirrored walls, the floors of wood mosaic, the inlaid paneling and the marquetery furniture in the Cabinet du Dauphin were regarded as his most remarkable work. These rooms were long since dismantled and their contents dispersed, but Boulle's drawings for the work are in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.

His royal commissions were numerous, as we learn both from the Comptes des B timents du Roi and from the correspondence of Louvois. Not only the most magnificent of French monarchs, but foreign princes and the great nobles and financiers of his own country crowded to him with commissions, and the mot of the abbé de Marolles, Boulle y lourne en ovale, has become a stock quotation in the literature of French cabinetmaking.

Conrad Felsing -
was a German clockmaker based in Berlin. He came from a family with clockmaking traditions. The family was in Berlin since the early nineteenth century, when they changed their name from Völtzing to Felsing because it looked smarter on the clock face or shop window without the umlaut, vaguely French perhaps.

They came to Berlin from Giessen in Hessen and from Freiburg before that.
The Völtzings had been clockmakers since at least 1733 but by 1820 Johann Conrad Völtzing became Felsing and discovered himself in Berlin. One of his sons (Albert Karl Julius) stayed and worked in the shop with him and he changed his name to Conrad to match the existing name on the clocks and shops. Industry led to more clocks and shops and by 1877 there was one on the Unter den Linden, where a royal patent, or appointment, from His Majesty the King of Prussia, and another one from Her Majesty the Queen lent an aristocratic aura to all the ticks and tocks and were good for business. He was made a Knight of the (Prussian) "Kronenordens IV. Klasse.

The second Conrad, son of the founder, died in 1901 and his son Willibald Albert Conrad took over the business. He expanded the business from clocks & watches to alarm clocks, to pedestal & mantel clocks of marble, bronze to finally jewelry. The firm offered guarantees of exchange and advertised gift-wrapping 'gratis'.

Ormolu (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).
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