|A good early 19th century French matt and burnished ormolu 'Harlequin' timepiece. Harlequin wearing his trademark diamond patterned suit, his hat with horn ( or hare's tail) and baton to his waist. He has a patinated bronze head with hand painted enamel eyes. He leans slightly on one leg supporting on his hips and with his left arm, a model of a weight driven cuckoo clock with a bird in the arch. The extrememly fine convex white enamel dial with roman numerals and blued steel half moon breguet hands. The dial is surrounded by a fine ormolu bezel. The eight day, bell striking on the halfs and hours, with outside countwheel movement and silk suspended pendulum. Raised on an oval base with four low profile bun feet, and a fine ormolu mount depicting a cat and dog eating before a fireplace.
This is a very popular and rare model of early 19th century French mantel clock. Harlequin was a principal member of the Commedia del'Arte.
On the small door from which the cockeral emerges is written the words 'Le Point du Jour' meaning the break of day or dawn. This theme is continued, as instead of a cuckoo, we have a cockeral.
A similar model can be seen in Tardy 'French Clocks the world over' vol 2 on the back cover, and also Elke Niehüser, "Die Französische Bronzeuhr pp. 168
France circa 1815-20
Height: 35cm, Length 24cm and width 10.2cm