HISTORY: AN ALLEGORICAL FIGURAL CLOCK

HISTORY: AN ALLEGORICAL FIGURAL CLOCK

1820 Continental

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

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To be executed in gilt bronze; enamel dial; black marble platform

The standing goddess recording the deeds of men with a stylus on the tablet she is displaying on a shaped naos tabernacle fronted by the clock with a crossed palm-leaf mount below the dial; the frieze of victors' laurel wreaths 12in. high

The goddesses of Victory, Fame and History are all overlapping, representing three successive aspects of the recognition of political attainment. Hence they are very similarly personified as winged females, variously sharing the same attributes of the palm, laurel crown and tablet: History records the deeds of men of Fame who have achieved Victory. As such they were all naturally harnessed to underpin the legitimacy of the Restoration of the Bourbon dynasty, following the defeat of Napoleon.

This design is clearly related to an earlier design, presumably by the same hand, that formed the model for an Empire clock sold at Sotheby's Amsterdam, February 21, 1995, lot 375. The subject of both clocks is History, in the case of the Empire example with a male personification of the allegory. Both models exhibit the same crossed palm-leaf mount below the dial and similar victor's laurels across the frieze. Whereas the Empire model has a scroll on top of a rectangular altar inscribed LES HOMMES SONT EGAUX CE N'EST PAS LA NAISSANCE (Men are equal, it is not birth that matters), a very French Revolutionary sentiment, the present design has no such references, further confirmation that this collection of designs was closely attuned to the Restauration political regime.
Dimensions
Height 50.40 cm (19.84 inches)
Width 33.00 cm (12.99 inches)
Medium
Watercolour, gouache and pen and ink, on laid paper
Charles Plante Fine Arts

Charles Plante Fine Arts
50 Gloucester Street
London
SW1V 4EH

+44 (0)20 7834 3305
+44 (0)7798 626249
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