The case modelled on the painting by Charles Joseph Natoire, depicting Cupid and Psyche sharpen arrows of Love, over an urn-shaped body, the vase rests on a black Belgian marble inserted inside a gilded bronze base on bun feet. Details and quality of the bronzes chiselling and gilding are remarkable.
The white enamel Roman and Arabic dial with outer minute track and pierced gilt hands, within a finely cast Greek key ormolu bezel, the movement with flat-bottomed plates united by pinned pillars, with silk suspension and outside countwheel strike on a bell.
This vase-shaped clock with curved handles the two figures come out is of late Roman derivation.
The iconography praises the power of the weapons of Love.
Charles Joseph Natoire (Nimes 1700-1777 Castel) created a painting that was probably the inspiration for this clock representing Cupid sharpening her arrows as the winged Psyche turns the stone and pours water from a jar over it.
Claude Galle French bronzist
Claude Galle is known as one of the most significant French bronzists during the 19th century.
Born on 1 March 1759 in Villepreux, he moved to Paris and obtained an apprenticeship with Pierre Foy, a master gilder of metals.
In 1786, Galle became a ‘master foundryman‘ and, in the same year, was awarded by the Imperial Garde Meuble to renovate their palaces. He received large contracts to make and gild bronze for the furniture of the castles of Compiègne, Fontainebleau, Versailles and Saint-Cloud.
Galle also became the official licensee of the Garde-Meuble for Bonaparte’s furniture at Saint-Cloud.
Galle supplied most of the clocks, applique, candelabras, and chandeliers to renovate the imperial palaces. He participated in the exhibition of French industrial products in 1806, where he won a medal for the excellence of his creations. Claude Galle had his most notable rise during the imperial period until he died in 1815.
Claude Galle’s artworks can be found in numerous European aristocratic residences and exhibited in the major museums of decorative arts.
The movement is by Lesieur, a workshop often associated with clocks fitted with complex movements.
Lesieur is first recorded as a pendulier based at Vieille rue de Temple in 1806, then from 1812-20 and 1830-50 at rue de Verrerie and at Boulevard Saint-Martin 1840.