c.1800 Large French Ormolu and Sèvres Porcelain Swinging Lyre Clock.

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c.1800 Large French Ormolu and Sèvres Porcelain Swinging Lyre Clock.
Inv. #: df33

The superbly enameled and gilt porcelain chapter ring dial has black Arabic numbers for both the hours and the 15-minute marks. Along the inside edge of the dial are the 30-day red lettered calendar numbers with the 10-day decimal numbers in black. The elaborate gilt decoration includes a garland with green enamel dots that borders the calendar dial, diamond five-minute marks and decorative half-hour marks with red enamel centers. It has wonderfully cast and engraved lyre form hands.


The eight-day two-train movement has finely cut wheelwork, an anchor escapement, a visible front-plate and strikes on a bell. The seven-rod gridiron pendulum is suspended by knife-edge, has a screwed beat adjustment, is engraved on one of the brass blocks ‘obtulit colonia agripina’, has a large brass-bound lenticular bob at the back and a large ormolu starburst at the front that encircles the porcelain dial. The starburst swings side-to-side as the clock runs.


The case has several early Sevres marks and the springs are signed and dated 1800. The 30-day calendar was established as part of the Revolution when the decimal system was used in France and for a short time employed in horology.

Period swinging lyre clocks in which either the movement or the large decorative pendulum (pay stones or starbursts) moved are extremely rare. It is amazing that this example has survived without damage to either the original ormolu finish, the wonderful porcelain dial or the delicate porcelain frame.

Size: 26.5 in.
Retail Price: SOLD

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