Impressive French Empire Mantel Clock with Apollo

Impressive French Empire mantel clock with Apollo

This French Empire mantel clock dates from the 1st Empire period (circa 1805). It is in very good condition with original gilding.

The statue on top shows the mythological god Apollo playing his lyre, accompanied by a pair of love birds. On the right side we see a face on the wall with water coming from its mouth, flowing into a pond below. This fountain reminds us of “la Bocca della Verità” (the mouth of truth) in Rome.

The clockwork of this French Empire mantel clock has a white enamel and gold dial with Roman chapters, Breguet hands, circular two train movement with anchor escapement, wire suspension pendulum, striking the hour and half hour on bell by means of a count wheel. The clockwork has been checked and is in perfect working condition.

Dimensions: 42.5 x 15 x 52.5 cm. Weight: 12.3 kg.

Mythology of Apollo and Daphne

On the frieze below on this Empire clock we see a very detailed depiction of the story about Apollo and Daphne. On the left we see Apollo with his lyre walking in the forest. Apollo fell in love with the nymph Daphne; we see her in the middle of the frieze. Consequently Apollo continually followed her, begging her to stay, but the nymph continued to reject him. Finally she called upon her father, the river god Peneus, to help her. He changed her into a laurel tree. Apollo then uses his powers of eternal youth and immortality to render Daphne evergreen. For this reason, the leaves of the laurel tree do not decay. On the right half of the frieze we see the laurel tree and Peneus pouring water into the river.

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