Mantel and Table Clocks

Musical hour striking table clock with automaton

    Musical hour striking table clock with automaton

    Great Britain, London

    Circa 1790

    Brass, steel, enamel, glass; casting, engraving, gilding, mechanical work

    Height 76.2 cm

    On the strike breaker: “CHIME / SILENT”, on tunes indicator: “MINUET / GAVOT / MINUET / JIGG”. On the key: “London”


    Clock in vertical ornately shaped gilded case, on low socle with wide cast plinth decorated with rocaille ornament. Four cast floral curls-shaped feet. The corners of rectangular, in design, case with the saddle curvilineal roof and flat platform are closed with repoussed pilasters, the urns with fleurons being their continuation.

    Curved cornices serve as the parts of torn pediments on the case front and rear sides, onlay cast cartouches are between them. Arched glass door with embossed cast edging and smooth passe-partout from the inner side, covers the engraved dial shield. White enamel clock dial with two openwork gilded hands, Roman numerals for hours’ designation, minutes’ divisions, Arabic numerals every fifth division and three winding holes. Two small dials with gilded hands are above the large one. Round enamel insert is between the small ones. It features the painted image of young couple dancing to the music of a violinist that stands in the foreground.

    The violinist’s hand holding the bow moves while the music is playing. Rotunda with pavilion roof fixed on six bundles of columns is mounted on flat platform at the case top. Urns with fleurons are the continuation of the columns.

    Openwork parapet and urns at the corners surround the rotunda bottom part. Round stand is inside the rotunda, cast figurine of Cupid with the raised arms stands on it. The figure rotates when the music is playing.

    The movement engraved mounting plate, music cylinder and bells are visible through the glass door, framed by the arch-shaped stripe with cast decorative onlays. The clockwork is pendulum, with verge escapement and tree spring motors with fusees. It strikes hours upon the bell; one of four available tunes is reproduced on carillon of eight bells simultaneously. The music can be switched on as desired by the cord. Two keys from the doors and ornately shaped double-sided crown are in the set.