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On view


Maker: Maker unknown (probably France)

Date: c. 1820
Medium: Gilt bronze
Overall: 19 x 17 3/4 x 14 1/2in. (48.3 x 45.1 x 36.8cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 60.60
Label Text

This sophisticated French art object, with a clock face cleverly incorporated into the wheel of the chariot, is more sculpture than timepiece. France had a well-established history of producing the world's most stylish bronze clocks, which were extremely popular in affluent European and American homes. The military campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) inspired the decorative motifs on this clock. The chariot, for example, alluded to Napoleon's military prowess. After his military campaigns in Italy and Egypt in the end of the eighteenth century, the style of interior design adopted by Napoleon's court embraced emblems from ancient Roman and Egyptian articles, including motifs such as paw feet and griffins. Termed "Empire style," the same characteristics dominated American decorative arts in the 1820s and 1830