An angel playing the cello (I am unsure as to what the statue is made of. Brass? I do not know.) leaning against a clock. Clock and angel rest upon marble. Marble pieces are cut and attached to a solid inner piece to serve as a sturdy base (maybe concrete or some type of stone). The clock currently is not operating and there is no identification, text, or anything uniquely identifiable to determine who the maker is and where it is from. There is a “327” engraved on the back of the clock inside the clock’s housing.
Thank you for sending in this French mantel clock for an appraisal. I shall try to do that for you tonight.
Dore bronze (gilt spelter), patinated spelter and variegated white/tan marble, double barrel spring, eight day time and hour/half hour striking, figural mantel clock, Cupid/musical them, unsigned by clockmaker, made in France circa 1880.
Case: Size not provided. This is a figural mantel clock arranged on a rectangular tan and white variegated marble platform outlined with bronzed beading and Dore bronze floral wreaths on the platform façade. A Dore bronze plinth encloses the clock case on the left while a winged Cupid, identified by his gilt quiver of arrows, sits on a footed stool and amuses himself playing the cello. Cupid is Spelterware, a white metal but patinated in golden brown colors. Cupid leans against the canister of the clock. The casing has some ormolu foliage and Cupid’s arrows arranged atop the break-arch case (break arch because the rounded arched pediment is interrupted at both sides by the short right angled shoulders of the pediment. Below is the large round glazed dial bezel with a drapery swag of laurel leaves beneath the dial which then has a dentil carved moulded cornice and rests flat to the marble platform. The platform sits on Dore bronze toupie feet. The marble slabs are held in place at the base of the clock by concrete, a sure sign of French clockmaking where concrete was used to secure the thin slabs or tiles of marble (to keep the cost down).
Dial: A white round enameled white dial with black Breguet type Arabic hours, open dotted minute track with Arabic markers placed every fifteen minutes at the quarter hours. There is a Brocot aperture above the twelve for altering the speed of the movement, from the dial side. There is a rounded string of polychrome colored flowers in the dial center which is otherwise unsigned. There are steel French “simple Roman” hands.
Movement: Round solid brass plate movement, brass tubular pillars connect the plates and are pinned at the back plate, anchor escapement, steel cut pinions, and two-barrel springs power the clock for eight days and cause striking on the silvered bell on the hour and half hour. Striking is aided by a countwheel seen on the upper right side of the back plate. The number '327' is a foundry number where these movement plates were made. Names are sometimes found in this section of the movement, and when that happens they are reserved commonly for retailers or the import export firm handling the clock. If you unscrew the bell you might find a medallion of the clockmaker who made the movement. A short pendulum and brass bob should hang from the upper back plate where there is a simple Brocot suspension spring. If you find the medallion of a clockmaker under the bell you can add 15% to the prices provided for the clock.
Case – The case remain in good used condition and you can clearly see where the gilding of the surface has worn away and there is a dark metal underneath (that is spelter, a white metal that now has oxidized from exposure to the air and turned dark).
Dial – on excellent condition for its age.
Movement – Traditional 19th century French made movement which is assumed original to this case, genuine and likely functional.
Overall in very good condition.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/89688888_a-louis-xvi-style-gilt-metal-and-spelter-ormolu-mounted (SOLD IN 2020 FOR $600)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/90062828_two-french-figural-shelf-clocks-with-matching-garniture (Sold for $600 for two small cupid clocks)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/99127779_tiffany-and-co-19th-century-dore-bronze-clock (Passed in 2021 for failure to reach $2000, bidding got to $1200)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/98380267_a-late-19th-century-french-marble-and-ormolu-mounted (Sold for $305 in 2021)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/81995477_french-figural-cupid-marble-clock-garniture-set (Set sold for $425 in 2020)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/72768291_a-good-19th-century-french-louis-xv-desk-marble-and (Sold for $388 in 2019)
The subject of your clock is sculpted in a very pleasing manner and really stems from a group of Cupid themes that speak to the Education of Cupid. He was taught to read by his father, Mercury. Venus of course was his mother, but few people remember that Mercury taught Cupid how to read and study the history of the culture of the human race. Venus and Mercury felt it was very important for Cupid to learn all about culture, the fine and the decorative arts and the range of tastes of people, in order that he could shoot his arrows into the right couples who belonged together because of true love.
So, although we have many simpler clock sculptures of Cupid in a musical mode playing with a tambourine or cymbals, here we find him playing the cello, a much more serious cultural symbol of musical history. Based on that, one has to take this clock a bit more seriously than some of the others listed in the above Comparables, and I believe the fair market value of this little French clock would fall into the range of $650-$750 which equals 535-620 Euros, with a retail figure about twice that amount. If you choose to put it up for sale I would suggest an asking price just a bit lower than fair market value or 500 Euros since it is mostly dealers who will be looking to purchase your clock (just my own suggestion and you can choose the price you want for yourself). **N.B. - Do not forget to look for the maker's medallion under the bell, and if you find one add 15% to all of the values.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal. I enjoyed doing it for you.