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Exceptional French Empire Mantel Clock by Thomire & Moinet

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Exceptional French Empire Mantel Clock by Thomire & Moinet

- Item No.

The talents of bronzier Thomire & Cie. and clock maker Louis Moinet culminate in this opulent clock

Key Features

  • A fantastic figural doré bronze mantel clock by Thomier & Cie. and Louis Moinet
  • The mechanism is a twin train movement
  • Both Thomire and Moinet were favorites of Napoleon I and their works are housed in numerous museums
  • Clock is signed "L. MOINET/ A PARIS", and the case is signed "THOMIRE A PARIS" on the lower right
  • Paris, circa 1825
  • 13 3/8" wide x 9" deep x 22 1/2" high

Item Details

  • Width:
    13 3/8 Inches
  • Height:
    22 1/2 Inches
  • Depth:
    9 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    France
A female satyr enjoys music played by two young fauns in this remarkable gilt bronze mantel clock by bronzier Thomire & Cie and clockmaker Louis Moinet. The body, crafted by Pierre-Philippe Thomire, is a lush celebration of classical forms, with its garland of fruit and flowers, plaques centered by barking dogs' heads, all accented by generous shell, acanthus and scroll decorations. The clock itself is a twin train movement. Telling the hour on Roman numerals with pierced filigree hands, the timepiece features a blue and white enamel dial painted with a six-point arabesque star. A work of classical beauty and skillful construction, this clock is a monumental example of the opulent French Empire style. Both Thomire and Moinet were favorites of Napoleon I, and their exceptional work can be found in many museums and great houses of the world.

The clock is signed "L. MOINET/ A PARIS", and the case is signed "THOMIRE A PARIS" on the lower right side.

Paris, circa 1825

13 3/8" wide x 9" deep x 22 ½" high

Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the most prominent bronzier, or producer of ornamental patinated and gilt-bronze objects and furniture mounts, of the First French Empire. His fashionable neoclassical furnishing bronzes established the highest standard in refined finish in the craft of the fondeur-ciseleur, or founder-finisher. Thomire's career began at the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, where he made bronze mounts under artistic director Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis. He eventually bought the business of a marchand-mercier, which allowed him to sell furniture, Sèvres porcelain, and decorative objects which he produced in his own workshops. His works include some of the finest and purest expressions of the Empire style, including the Vase de Mariage de l'Empereur, now housed at Versailles. In 1809, the Emperor Napoleon made him Ciseleur de L'Empereur,, or Engraver to the Emperor. Because of the large number of pieces Thomire supplied to the palaces, his firm became Fournisseur de Leurs Majestés,, or Furniture Suppliers to their Majesties, two years later. In 1811, he collaborated with the silversmith Pierre-Philippe Odiot in making perhaps the most famous piece of furniture for Napoleon, the celebrated cradle for the Emperor's first legitimate heir, the King of Rome, designed by painter Pierre Paul Prud'hon, and now on display in the Schatzkammer or The Royal Treasury in Vienna. Thomire's business managed to survive even after Napoleon's downfall. After the Restoration, he worked for the Bourbons and was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by Louis-Philippe. He retired in 1832 and his firm Thomire et Cie continued until 1850. He finally retired at the age of 72 but continued to work as a sculptor, exhibiting at the Salon until he was in his 80s.

Louis Moinet's clocks are considered works of art as well as fine timepieces and are currently on display in such important museums as the Louvre in Paris, the Chteau de Versailles, and the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Moinet produced important clocks for kings and many other famous historical figures, including King George IV of England, Napoleon, and James Monroe, the 5th President of the United States (where the clock still resides in the Blue room of the White House). Even Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of the United States and a well-known aficionado of fine timepieces, commissioned a Louis Moinet clock which still resides proudly in Monticello.

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Price: $48,500
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