Refined Empire mantel clock “l’Inquiétude maternelle”


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Empire mantel clock “l’Inquiétude maternelle”

Magnificent Empire mantel clock “l’Inquiétude maternelle” embodying the theme of maternal concern in exquisite gilt bronze. Notably, a clock of identical design was delivered to the secretariat of State of the French Empire at the Château de Fontainebleau in October 1806, adding historical significance to this stunning piece (reference: Samoyault, see last photo).

Crafted circa 1806, this exceptional clock is a masterpiece of Empire design. Its hexagonal base is adorned with winged lions, cherubs, vases with palmettes, and butterflies around a fountain—a testament to the intricate detailing typical of the Empire period. Atop the clock, a fine sculpture further illustrates the theme of maternal concern, adding depth and emotion to this exceptional work of art. The centrepiece depicts a poignant scene of a woman holding a drape over a sleeping child in an elaborate cot, with a faithful dog by her side—a symbol of fidelity.

Encased within the main hexagonal clock housing, flanked by winged lions and adorned with canted corners embellished by urns, is the clockwork featuring a white enamel dial and gilt bronze hands, surrounded by a fine ormolu bezel.

This Empire clock stands on six spinning top legs, providing elegance to its design. The entire piece is meticulously crafted, showcasing very high-quality mercury gilding that remains in excellent condition, preserving its original splendour and allure.

Details of the Empire mantel clock “l’Inquiétude maternelle”

This gilt bronze Empire clock has undergone professional cleaning and is exceptionally well-preserved, boasting magnificent mercury gilding. The clock features a movement with an anchor escapement, wire suspension, and strikes the hour and half hours on a bell using an outside count wheel. It has been serviced by a professional clock maker and is in flawless working condition, complete with pendulum, bell, and key.

Origin: Paris, circa 1806.
Dimensions: height 42 cm, width 32 cm, depth 14 cm.
Weight: 9.9 kg.


  • Jean-Pierre Samoyault, “Pendules et bronzes d’ameublement entrés sous le Premier Empire”, 1989, p. 59.
  • Elke Niehüser, “French Bronze Clocks”, p. 219 #478.
  • Pierre Kjellberg, “Encyclopédie de la pendule française”, p. 390 #B.

See more Empire Clocks in our gallery.

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