|A young mother nurses her son, whilst watching her daughter kneeling before her, doing her evening prayer. To her right is a baby basket, and the quality of the casting in the carefully arranged pillow and blanket is exquisite.
The elaborate setting of the high wall before them, draped in fabric and flanked by two sphinx headed terms, is an indication that the illustrated figures are special.
The young boy, being nursed by his mother, the Duchess de Berry, is the later Duke of Bordeaux, whilst kneeling infront is his older sister Louise. The birth of the boy in 1820 was the reason for the creation of this clock, designed by Jean Andre Reiche.
The birth was held in even greater significance due to the murder of his father, thus the son was referred to as "l'enfant du miracle"
The fact the clock shows the intimate and everyday settings of an aristocratic family, is interesting, as it would have been unthinkable before the revolution.
The patinated bronze base helps to accentuate the stunning quality of the entirely original fire or mercury gilded ormolu. The quality of the casting and chasing is outstanding.
The movement is an early 19th century English double fusee movement, signed Viner, New Bond Street, with white enamel dial and original blued steel Breguet style moon hands. The French movement has been replaced with a superior English 8 day movement, striking on the half hour and hour. ( This was commonplace in England in the early 19th century when the clockmakers of the wealthy routinely replaced the inferior French movements with ones of their own manufacture. Vulliamy is famous for having replaced the majority of French clock movements in the Royal Collection with movements bearing his own signature.
See French bronze clocks by Elke Niehuser pp. 165
France, circa 1820
15 inches High ( 48cm)