c.1820 Very Rare Ormolu and ‘bleu turquoise’ Porcelain Lyre Clock.

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c.1820 Very Rare Ormolu and ‘bleu turquoise’ Porcelain Lyre Clock.
Inv. #: P146

Joseph Dieudonné Kinable
Richard Symes – Dialmaker
Sèvres – Porcelain Makers
George Tupman – Repair mark


The exceptional lyre-form ‘bleu torquoise’ porcelain case has finely painted polychrome floral garlands on white grounds along the base and stem and is adorned with exceptionally detailed and finished ormolu mounts that include beaded edges, floral swags and a large sunburst featuring Apollo.


The finely lettered white porcelain dial has black Roman numerals for the hours, gilt Arabic ten-minute marks, finely engraved and chased hands, is signed on the reverse by the dial maker, ‘R Symes’ and is signed on the front, ‘Kinable’.


The eight-day time and strike double fusee flat bottom movement has a dead-beat escapement, rack striking, an inscribed repair mark, ‘Tupman, 1848’, and strikes on a bell. The grid-iron pendulum is suspended above by knife-edge, has a screwed beat adjustment off the crutch, a beaded ormolu ring surrounding the dial and a lenticular bob at the back that is adjusted for fast/slow.


Joseph Dieudonné Kinable, 1794- 1830, was located at Galerie de Pierre. He provided high quality clocks that included elaborately decorated enamel skeleton clocks and exceptional porcelain lyre clocks.

The Sèvres Royal Porcelain Factory began producing lyre clocks from about 1785 although the case shape dates much earlier. They produced these models in a variety of colors including dark and turquoise blue, green and pink. Although we have seen two tone examples, this is the first one we have seen decorated with polychrome garlands on a white ground.

Both the movement and dial are original and English. This is very much like the Weeks clock we have where there is a superb French case with a high quality English movement and dial.

Richard Symes, 1816-35, is listed in ‘Brittens’ as a clock dial maker and glass bender.

George Tupman & Co. was first established in London in 1790 and offered repairs and a winding service up until the end of the 19th century.

For some additional examples of porcelain lyre clocks by Kinable see:
‘Royal Clocks’, pg. 130 and 131.
‘La Pendule Francais’, pg. 230.

For some additional examples at auction see:
Sotheby’s, Sale Number N08822, Lot 974.
Koller Auctions, Dec. 6, 2012, Lot 1154.

Size: 23.5 in.
Retail Price: On Request.

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