This rare extraordinary gilt bronze clock depicts the mythological scene of the brutal battle between Perseus and Phineus. Perseus here brandishing the mob with the severed head of Medusa turning them to stone. Dial signed “Beauvarlet a Paris”, the circular enamel dial featuring Roman hours and Arabic five-minute intervals, with two intricately pierced gilt bronze hands. 8 Day movement striking a bell on the hour and half-hour.
In Greek mythology, the hero Perseus was famous as slayer of Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon whose grotesque appearance turned men to stone. On his way home from his triumph, he passed the kingdom of Ethiopian and the beautiful princess Andromeda was chained to a rock waiting to be attacked by a sea monster who he turned into stone. He fell in love with her and then wed Andromeda. During the nuptials her disgruntled fiance and Uncle Phineus led a mob to attack Perseus, after a fierce battle Perseus prevailed and exposed them to Medusa’s head turning them all into stone.
Inspired by the rediscovery of ancient Pompeii, Neoclassical design brought back a return of Greco-Roman style in decor and architecture. Louis XVI's reign began in 1774 and his queen Marie-Antoinette, a lover of the arts had much influence over this Neoclassical style. This 18th century design is timeless and elegant, but understated; complimenting an antique setting, or adding exuberant contrasting highlights to modern and contemporary interior settings.
Place of Origin: Paris
Maker: Josse Adrien Beauvarlet (1763-89) “Signed on dial Beauvarlet a Paris”
Circa: 1775 (from the Louis XVI period)
Dimensions: 19.125 ”w X 9.25” d, 18”h
Condition: Excellent Antique Condition
Baillie, G.H. (2006) Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World. Alcester, United Kingdom