Mythological clock “Diana Huntress” Directory period 1795-1799

Mythological clock “Diana Huntress” Directory period

Museum quality French mantel clock in mercury gilded bronze with mat and shiny gilding. This mythological Directory period clock represents Diana Huntress with her quiver and arrows on her back. Diana, the virgin goddess, patroness of the countryside, hunters, crossroads, and the Moon, is resting after the hunt. She holds a bow in her right hand and a prey, a dead bird,  in her other hand. A small hunting horn is on the ground in front of her feet, as she turns towards her faithful hunting dog, who looks up to her dutifully. The sculpture shows remarkably detailed chiseling, like the hair and the clothes.

Diana is seated on the clockwork case which contains a large movement surrounded by an exquisitely chiseled lunette. The clockwork has Directory period mercury gilded hands. Further, it has a large enamel dial signed by the clock maker Dubuc l’ainé à Paris.

The base of the mantel clock has many refined decorations, in mercury gilded bronze, both on the front as on the sides. For instance the griffins in the frieze represent the union of intelligence and strength. Also,  beside them are antique basins with ram heads. Below we see a base relief showing hounds chasing a deer. The bronze conveys the ambivalence for which Diana is famous: the gracious woman turning into a cruel killer during the hunt.

Details of this Directory period mantel clock

The movement with anchor escapement and silk thread suspension strikes the hour and half hours on a bell.  It has gilt bronze hands and a large white enamel dial with Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic numbers for the minutes. The dial carries the signature of Dubuc l’ainé à Paris. This clock presents itself in an excellent state of preservation and the large wire suspension movement is in perfect working condition and comes with its balance, key and bell. Also, the clock has been professionally cleaned and the clockwork checked by a clock maker.

Paris, circa 1795-1799.
Dimensions: 46 cm high, 32 cm wide, 13 cm deep.
Weight: 12.2 kg.


  • Elke Niehüser, “French Bronze Clocks”, 1997, p.221 #521

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