A rare French gilt and enamel ‘bras en l’air’ mantel clock, circa 1880
This lovely clock has a spring-driven movement with a duration of 8 days, which means it needs to be wound once a week. The movement moves the hands of a gilt and engraved lady across the hour and minutes sectors. She stands in an arched canopy with three turned finials and polychrome enamel flowers on a blue ground. The stepped griotte rouge base is adourned with gilt brass mouldings and a relief. The clock is unusual and amusing because of the mechanism but also has a beautiful combination of colours.
At first hand one would not directly identify this as a clock. But when looking more closely one sees two sectors, one for hours the other for minutes. An 8-day movement concealed in the griotte rouge base drives the arms slowly up until they fall down at the end. In this way a very decorative piece with the lovely colour combination is a clock, an object d’art and a conversation piece.