French Empire Ormolu & Bronze Clock Of Athena - Thomire
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French Empire Ormolu & Bronze Clock Of Athena - Thomire
A Fine French Empire gilded bronze or ormolu and patinated bronze mantle clock depicting a bust of goddess Athena. French, circa: 1800-1810. Measuring: 15" high.

The mantle clock in the form of a bust of the Goddess Athena. Related drawings depicting Athena in bust form were done by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine and most certainly inspired this piece. The Bronze work attributed to Pierre Phillipe Thomire(1751-1843).



Pierre-Phillipe Thomire (1751-1843).

Although trained as a sculptor, Pierre-Philippe Thomire decided to follow his father into the potentially more lucrative profession of bronze caster, becoming the most important one of the late 1700s. Before setting up his own establishment in 1775, Thomire trained in the workshop of Pierre Gouthière.

Thomire's big break came when he began assisting Jean-Claude-Thomas Duplessis, the artistic director of the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory, in making mounts. When Duplessis died in 1783, Thomire took over his job, supplying all the gilt bronze mounts for the porcelain. This work kept him in business throughout the French Revolution, when many other producers went bankrupt. In 1804 he bought the business of a marchand-mercier, thus allowing him to sell furniture, Sèvres porcelain, and decorative objects, which he produced in his own workshops.

In 1809 the Emperor Napoleon made him ciseleur de l'empereur (Engraver to the Emperor); because of the large number of pieces Thomire supplied to the palaces, his firm became fournisseur de leurs majestés (Furniture Suppliers to their Majesties) two years later.

Thomire's business managed to survive even after Napoleon's downfall, winning numerous medals at various exhibitions. He finally retired at the age of seventy-two but continued to work as a sculptor, exhibiting at the Salon until he was in his eighties.


Lost wax method of bronze casting. Hand chasing and chiseling of the surface. Original patina present and intact. The ormolu is Mercury gilded with both Matt finish and highly burnished areas of highlight. Gilding is original and in tact.

One casting flaw at underside tip of Helmet crown.


En français: bronze doré horloge pendule empire de athena
Robert L. Reese Antiques & Fine Art © 2004