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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Antique French Tortoiseshell Ormolu Mantle Clock c.1860"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
This clock has a fabulous white enamel dial and a bell striking movement. The case is of beautiful red tortoiseshell, and it is applied with scrolled ormolu mounts.
Complete with original sunburst pendulum, bell and key.
It keeps really good time and is delightful to look at.
The clock movement has been expertly restored and is in working order, the tortoiseshell case is also in really excellent condition. Please see the photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 39.5 x Width 20 x Depth 14
Dimensions in inches:
Height 15.6 x Width 7.9 x Depth 5.5
Tortoiseshell or tortoise shell is a material produced mainly from the shell of the hawksbill turtle, an endangered species. It was widely used until the 1970s in the manufacture of items such as combs, sunglasses, guitar picks and knitting needles. In 1973, the trade of tortoiseshell worldwide was banned under CITES.
Tortoiseshell was attractive to manufacturers and consumers because of its beautiful appearance and its durability, and its organic warmth against the skin. Piqué-work, jewellery made from tortoiseshell inlaid with precious metals in patterns or pictures, was made during the Victorian Era and was highly prized.
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).
Our reference: 05319
318 Green Lanes