A French Empire Gilt Bronze Clock

    Attributed to Claude Galle, Paris, France
    Circa 1810
    Gilt bronze, enamel
    21.5 in. high x 17.75 in. wide x 4.75 in. deep

    Depicting Omphale, Queen of Lydia with the weapons of Hercules, the movement with circular white enamel dial with roman chapters and an Arabic minute ring, framed within a guilloche border and raised upon a draped plinth; surmounted by classically dressed figure of Omphale seated upon a draped lions pelt, with a club and laurel wreath; the whole upon a shaped base plinth ornamented with a central semi-circular reserve with the figures of Hercules and Omphale flanked by oak branches and Herculean masks; the sides with rectangular reserves containing swans.

    For murdering his friend Iphitus in a fit of madness, Hercules was sold as a slave to Omphale, Queen of Lydia, for three years. While in her service he grew effeminate, wearing women's clothes and adornments, and spinning yarn. Eventually, Hercules hands Omphale his lion skin and his weapon, the much feared club. This exchange of attributes is represented in the iconography of this clock, with Omphale portrayed with a club and lion pelt, while Hercules is depicted holding a spindle.

    A virtually identical example of this clock, signed Galle, Rue Vivienne a Paris is illustrated in Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Proschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, page 371.

    Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    19th-20th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,449

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