French Clock

France

19th Century

Bronze Doré

This piece comes from France during the 19th century: a bronze and gilded antique. The clock is similar to a series of Ormolu mantel clocks that typically depicted a person and their dog, usually at varying ages, with the dog, or bucket, being a contrasting colour. Ormolu is an 18th-century gilding, or pounding technique made famous in France. The craftsmen would apply the finely ground, high-carat gold–mercury amalgam to their statues, frames, or clocks bronze, which would drive off the kiln, and leave a golden plating. Though the art style has remained popular in households throughout the centuries, the method has changed drastically due to the health risks involving mercury, and so these older pieces are becoming more rare.

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