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Very Fine Mother of Pearl Empire Mantel Clock

Hochfeine Perlmutt-Empireuhr

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Vienna, first quarter of the 19th century

Case
engine turned and fire-gilt bronze (ormolu), mother of pearl, partly engraved, reverse side and base with alternating light and dark mother of pearl plates
Dial
engine turned and fire-gilt bronze (ormolu)
Movement
anchor escapement, Viennese grande sonnerie on wire gongs, repeater, turn-off for strike
Height
12 ¼ in

In this incredibly intricately worked timepiece, the internationally celebrated horological craftsmanship of the Danube metropolis and the Viennese mother of pearl pieces of the early 19th century, which were in demand worldwide, are united to create an opulent total artwork.
Two fire-gilt caryatids with Sphinx heads bear the dodecagonal movement case coated with mother of pearl. The engine turned and fire-gilt dial is framed with mother of pearl lamella with minutely detailed geometric grooves. The back of the case is elaborately designed with alternating dark and light mother of pearl as well as a tiny glazed round door – this noble mantel clock was designed freestanding, which allowed a presentation in the center of the room. All sides are made in the same artisanal top quality.

The rectangular base with engine turned bun feet and ornamental molding of fire-gilt bronze is also furnished with a coating of mother of pearl. The upper surface is decorated with a pattern of light and dark mother-of-pearl arranged in a sun shape, with a grooved mother of pearl rosette in the center. Above this swings the pendulum with a fire-gilt pendulum bob in the shape of a female mascaron. The case is crowned by a vase – again crafted from mother of pearl and fire-gilt bronze. The movement with an anchor escapement features a so-called Viennese grande sonnerie with a repeater and a turn-off for the strike.

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