Fabulous mythological Empire clock “Achilles and Agamemnon”

Mythological Empire clock “Achilles and Agamemnon”

This large mythological Empire clock, after the design by André-Antoine Ravrio, depicts the confrontation of Achilles and Agamemnon about the sacrifice of Iphigenia. On the right side we see Achilles as a young helmeted soldier unsheathing his sword and on the left side we see a bearded Agamemnon in a toga with his arms crossed. Further, the bas-relief in the plinth shows a scene of sacrifice. Between Achilles and Agamemnon the dial of the clockwork is inscribed in a stele surmounted by a sword and a helmet. The dial carries the signature “Le Roy Hr du Roi – à Paris” which refers to the famous clockmaker Bazile-Charles Le Roy.

The subject of this clock is the confrontation of Achilles and Agamemnon about the sacrifice of Iphigenia, an episode of the legendary Trojan war. After the abduction of Helen, wife of Menelaus, by the Trojan Pâris, an expedition against Troy is being organized by Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus. So that the winds are favorable to the Greek fleet, Artemis – whom Agamemnon had offended –  demands of him the sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia. To convince her to go to Aulis, where she must be immolated, her father claims to betroth her to Achilles, hence the anger of the latter, indignant at having been abused. This explains the confrontation, which is expressed here by the gesture of Achilles grabbing his sword. Agamemnon’s resolute attitude indicates his decision to immolate his daughter. The bas-relief indeed shows a soldier preparing to lay a young girl on an altar where the sacrificial fire burns.

Details of the mythological Empire clock “Achilles and Agamemnon”

This Empire mantel clock is in an excellent state of preservation with magnificent original mercury gilding. It has been serviced by a professional clock maker and is in perfect working condition and comes complete with pendulum, bell and key.

Paris, circa 1815.
Dimensions: 40 cm high, 35,5 cm wide and 13 cm deep.
Weight: 8,5 kg.


  • Elke Niehüser, “French Bronze Clocks”, p.215 #394.
  • Marie-France Dupuy-Baylet, “Pendules du Mobilier National 1800-1870”, p. 113.
  • Tardy, “Dictionnaire des horlogers français”, p.406-407.

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