Antique French Empire ormolu mantel clock celebrating Francois 1er France's rennaissance King.

Antique  French Empire ormolu mantel clock celebrating Francois 1er France's rennaissance King.
Antique French Empire ormolu mantel clock celebrating Francois 1er or Francis 1st the "Rennaissance King of France" ( 1494-1547). The clock case is magnificent with the finest original fire or mercury gilt ormolu in virtually mint condition. The quality of the casting and chasing of the ormolu is of the very finest quality. Looking at the figure of Francois the man of letters on the left of the clock the chasing to the head, beard and costume is as fine as I have ever seen on a French Empire clock bar none. The clock seeks to illustrate the achievements of Francois by showing him firstly, on the left of the clock as a man of education, learning and of the arts while on the right hand side he is shown slightly smaller in scale as a warrior king which illustrates his great military feats that were however less successful. The clock set on elaborate toupee feet with rectangular basr awith superb moulding of leaf and dart decoration. To the front the base has a scene in ormolu in high relief of seven putti. Those on the left of the scene are seen with elements of the arts, sculture, music and science while those on the leftwith trophies of war such as flags, swords, canons and cannon balls and bows and arrows. Applied ormolu mounts to each side of the base are of trophies of war. The movement and dial of the clock are setwithin an ormolu cylinder decorated all round the lower part with scenes of soldiers in armour fighting or talking or being knighted, but also scenes of women praying or pleading with to the front centre the words framed within a cartouche "Proteger l'innocence vaincre l'opresseur" translates to "Protect the innocent overcome the oppressor". To the top of the case Francois can be seen holding one of the rings of a fine armillary sphere with volumes of books, rulers, set square, dividers and a protractor scattered about. Francois's figure on the left has in his hand a scroll on which is engraved "Francois 1er protecteur des belles lettres" translating to "Francis 1st patron of belles lettres". This is the larger and more imposing of the two figures on the clock and seeks to promote Francois' feets as a benevolent and intellegent king, interested in the sciences, discovery and also in literature and the arts. For instance he began the great French collections of sculpture and painting which never existed before him, much of which can now be found in the louvre. He encouraged Leanardo da Vinci to live in France and he brought the Mona Lisa with him. He was a poet and a man of letters. Generally quite liberal in terms of religion until the end of his reign when he imposed the Edict of Fontainebleau (1540) against elements of Protestantism and the persecutions such as when Francis I ordered the massacre of the Waldensians at the Massacre of Mérindol in 1545. The figure on the right personifies Francois as the soldier king. He had teo major opponents in Europe, Henry VIII of England and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He tried to come to terms with Henry at the "Field of the cloth of Gold" in 1520 but they couldn't agree. He was constantly at war with Charles and gebnerally came off worst. Never the less he acquited himself well and also had treaties with the Ottomans and expanded Frances's interests in the new world and in Asia. Shown in full armour with sword and on his shield are the words "Aimer sa patrie la gloire et son amie" translates to ""loves his country's glory and her friend". 8 day bell striking movement and white enamel dial with blued steel hands. France circa 1815. 17 inches high by 14.5 inches wide by 6 inches deep (42.5 cms by 35 cms by 15 cms).

Stock Number: 4818

Price: £5,250

Availability: In Stock

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