Mantel and Table Clocks

Musical table clock with automaton

    Musical table clock with automaton

    China, Guangzhou

    Circa 1780

    Hiorou Lu

    Steel, brass, bronze, wood, glass, red ornamental stones; gilding, enamel, casting, painting, mechanical work

    76 x 35 x 25.5 cm

    Maker's mark: "Hiorou Lu"


    The clock  is fixed in vertical three-tier gilded bares case. The case is mounted on wooden stand, decorated with gilt openwork onlays. The case stands on four moulded feet merging into acanthus leaves. The facade arched window is covered with glass and surrounded by crenelated chain of transparent red, blue and colourless ornamental stones. Four casted vases are mounted on the cornice corners. Square shield with round enamel dial, surrounded by the painted images of flowers on blue background is behind the window. Openwork hour and minute hands are gilded, the seconds' hand is blued and free from any decor. Multidimensional automaton scene depicting park with colonnades and hanging branches in front, trees and a waterfall is above the dial. A line of moving riders' figures is in the middle ground. Six-sided lantern with arched windows on each side and pagoda-shaped roof with painted blue enamel vase on top is on the case upper pier. The roof is ornated with openwork gilded onlays. Three rear windows of the lantern are covered with the painted images. The lantern inner space with automaton, divided by movable curtains into two part is behind the front transparent windows. At the beginning of every hour, the automaton is activated: the left curtain rises, gilded figure appears with the hammer in its hands and hits the bell the necessary number of times. After that, the right curtain rises, and the figure hides behind it, the curtains descend and music sounds.  Clockwork with a pendulum and verge escapement, three spring motors with fusees activate the clock, chime mechanism and musical movement and pinned cylinder, nine hammers and nine bells.