9132

AN UNUSUAL MAHOGANY, STEEL AND WEDGWOOD MOUNTED MANTEL CLOCK

Probably English. Last Quarter Of The Eighteenth Century.

Measurements

Height: 17 1/4" (44 cm)
Width: 7 1/2" (19.5 cm)
Depth: 5 1/4" (13.5 cm)

Research

Of mahogany with steel and porcelain mounts. The clock surmounted by an urn shaped finial with steel edging and foliate cameo roundels set on a stepped plinth edged with steel beading, the urn set on a pitched four sided top, centred to each side by an oval cameo with classical scene edged with a steel moulding, the top above a frieze set with foliate porcelain roundels centred with steel, the frieze above a steel gadroon undermould, the clock face within a steel border surrounded with cameos featuring classical scenes, the flanking cameos octagonal, the plain sides centred by an octagonal cameo, the face above a steel reeding frieze centred to each side by a circular cameo, the whole set on a plinth above a downswept moulding with steel bead edging, the plinth set with foliate porcelain roundels, the whole raised on four steel feet, each with moulded top above faceted and shaped stem on bun feet. Movement of a later date.

The present clock possibly combines the decorative talents of gifted 18th century artisans, namely Josiah Wedgwood and Mathew Boulton. Collaboration of this type occurred often; jasperware was mounted with cut-steel to make toys (the 18th century term for small, personal items) and furniture and decorative objects were mounted with jasperware. The neoclassic movement of the 18th and 19th centuries bore patrons of the arts with a taste dictated by antiquity, and the mounts of the present clock, its shape and finial, uphold this neoclassical ideal.

Visitors of the Grand Tour returned with sculptures, pictures, and furniture representative of their travels in Italy, and especially Rome. Casts and copies were promulgated, and books on classical design resulted in widespread scholarship. Wedgwood himself built a large library of these works and based his pottery on such masterpieces, and when he “made a design taken from the Farnese Hercules or the Venus de Medici he knew that his customers appreciated and were familiar with the original.”1

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.