We hope you are keeping safe and well. As of 1 July 2020 we have re-opened having implemented recent Government guidelines for retail businesses. Our priority is to act in the best interests and safety of our customers and employees and we have made a number of changes to the way we run our business as well as implemented new procedures and safety regulations. This is so we can meet the social distancing requirements and keep our customers and employees as safe as possible.One of the changes is that we are now requesting customers to book appointments with us so that we can manage the number of customers and employees in the shop at any one time. Please see our Contact page for more details on how to book an appointment.We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times, and we look forward to welcoming you to The Clock Clinic.
Description of the clock
A FINE FRENCH EMPIRE ORMOLU MOUNTED MAHOGANY STRIKING LIBRARY CLOCK
History of the clock
This particular clock was created for the French gentry of that time, and was very much in keeping with the style of this era. Clocks during this era were made from fine materials with no expense spared on high quality wood, bronze and enamel.
The rather unexpected inclusion of bronze sphinxes at either side of this clock has a particular explanation. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France, modelling himself on the Roman emperor Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD) due to his ambition to create a French empire. Both emperors led a major battle in Egypt and images of grand symbols such as sphinxes and obelisks were used for propaganda purposes.
The inclusion of sphinxes celebrated Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt and were thereby popular with the French gentry. Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign started a new fascination with Egypt and led to the field of Egyptology after signifcant ancient antiquities were discovered.
The clockmaker – Dieudonné Kinable, Palais Royal no 131
The Parisian clockmaker Dieudonné Kinable (1794 – 1830) was based at Palais Royal no 131. Palais Royal at that time was home to many distinguished clockmakers. Kinable was one of the more celebrated clockmakers of this period, indeed King George IV purchased one of his clocks in 1828 which remained in the Queen’s Royal collection until recently.
Palais Royal – today
Palais Royal is a royal palace which opened in 1639, first home to Cardinal Richelieu and later a childhood home of Louis XIV. The palace and gardens are now open to the public and located opposite the Louvre.