Antique mantle clock set garniture french empire urns

Apr 05, 2020. 22:43 UTC
Antique Mantle Clock Set Garniture French Empire Urns
United States of America


Acquired from
Auction House

For sale

French empire gilt & marble clock garnishee set. Clock is flanked by two marble cassoulet urns of amphora form. Surrounded by the bronze lion in the Medici style. Complemented by the sunburst pendulum


Bought at a auction

Answered within about 3 hours
Apr 06, 02:02 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$600 - $850 USD

Insurance Value

$1,450 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Rafael,
Thank you for sending in this French mantel clock with marble vase garniture for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that tonight.
French Second Empire, Dore bronze, beveled glass and white variegated marble, eight day time and striking, crystal regulator mantel clock with marble cassoulet urn garniture, Unsigned, made in France circa late 19th century.
Clock Case: (Size not provided) Approximately 19.25"h, 13.5"w, 7.75"d, white variegated marble crystal regulator with Medici type cast ebonized metal black lion with paw resting on a gilt ball atop the clock case with its flat shaped and single stepped pediment placed above the main section with four beveled glass panels and brass corner posts containing the dial and movement of the clock with a door providing access to the movement compartment at the back of the glazed section. The case has been further embellished with four white marble fluted Corinthian pillars with pink and grey graining, the pillars appearing to support the pediment and resting on a marble shaped base below. The base is undulating in the same manner as the pediment and has a concave moulding while resting on brass round toupie feet. . .
Garniture: There are two white variegated marble cassoulet urns in the ancient amphora form for storage of liquids. Each urn has fenestrated Dore bronze foliate shaped handles and both are capped with Dore bronze stoppers with floral and foliate embellished ornaments topped by a small urn and spire brass finial. Each urn rests on a fluted narrow round pedestal situated on an undulating marble base and feet matching those of the clock case. . .
Dial: Two part dial with white enameled Roman hour chapter ring with closed bar minute track to the outside, Brocot aperture @ 12 for altering the speed of the movement. The dial center is guilloche in the form of sun’s rays and limited by a round gilt brass ring from the hour chapter ring. There are steel antique Breguet hands and the dial is unsigned. . .
Movement: Not shown but assumed to be a round solid brass plate movement connected with tubular pillars which are pinned at the back plate, anchor escapement, steel cut pinions, steel arbors, and most likely no evidence of an outside countwheel. The movement is double barrel spring powered, of eight-day duration and striking a coiled metal gong on the hour and half hour. A short metal pendulum rod is suspended from the top of the rear plate and a gilt brass Sun-God head with sun's rays decorated pendulum bob swings at the back of the movement. The back plate may or may not carry the medallion of the clockmaker. . .
Case – In excellent condition with no apparent damage to either the case or the garniture.
Dial – Excellent except unsigned.
Movement – Not shown, but assumed original to this case, genuine and fully functional.
The four glass crystal regulator was initially a French product. It developed in the late nineteenth century from the preference of the French clockmakers for rectilinear brass and glass forms first demonstrated in their carriage clocks of the early nineteenth century. The typical example was a brass columned case with beveled glass sides, a porcelain dial, circular movement, dead-beat escapement, and a compensated pendulum using two small vials of mercury. The finished product was a precision instrument and of considerable artistic merit. (The mercury will expand upward with any rise in temperature and this compensates for the slight lengthening of the pendulum with a rise in air temp. Thus, the time keeping remained constant regardless of outside temperature)
Using the above template the French created some superb examples with calendar dials, phases of the moon dials, thermometers and barometers, etc. The enamel dials could be plain or heavily decorated. The escapement of the movement was sometimes placed on the face of the clock.
The brass case could be simple and flat or rounded and solid decorative brass casting attached.
American versions of these clocks were made here in the early twentieth century, in great numbers, and for the most part, cheapened in accuracy and quality of workmanship. Real mercury was NOT used. In addition to owning a handsome crystal regulator, the owner could easily observe the passage of time by watching the mechanism at work, much as in a skeleton clock.
It is my opinion that the fair market value at auction today of your handsome late 19the century clock garniture would fall into the $600-$850 fair market price range. Retail values would of course be about 2-2.5 times higher. I hope that helps you with understanding your clock and the pricing in today’s market. None of the comparables sold during the Covid19 time frame in the USA which suggests it may well bring less in the current market. A maker’s medallion at the base of the back plate of the movement would point to the upper end of the price range I have supplied.
Thank you for using for your appraisal.
My best,

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