French Empire Ormolu and Bisque Porcelain Clock

French Empire ormolu mounted Bisque porcelain mantel clock surmounted by a classical muse most probably Calliope. The beautifully sculpted biscuit porcelain figure was made by the Nast Freres of Paris, the case is signed to the back ‘Nast’. Enamel dial with Roman numerals signed ‘Girod, Paris’, engine turned, gilded bezel and original finely cut gilded hands. Gilded, classical frieze below the dial standing on turned feet. Eight day French movement of fine quality striking the hours and halves on a silvered bell.  C.1795

The manufacture De Nast was one of the foremost hard-paste porcelain outlets, founded in 1783 by Jean Hermann Nast, an Austrian born French citizen who had previously worked in Versailles. He quickly became well known for the fine quality of his work and sold pieces to the government of the French Directory and the court of Napolean I. He opened a larger factory on the Rue Du Chemin, Vert, Paris in 1806 with his two sons. The firms products were sold to the French upper classes and to several courts in Europe. His two sons continued to run the firm following their father’s death in 1817, the company ceased trading in 1835.

In Greek mythology Callope was the muse of Epic Poetry, she was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne and is believed to have been Homers muse for both the Odyssey and the Iliad. (Callope translates as ‘Beautiful voiced in ancient Greek). Callope is always seen with a writing tablet in her hand and carrying a roll of paper often as here wearing a gold crown.

Provenance: Previously in the collection of Norman St John- Stevas, Baron St John of Fawsley.

Height: 19 ½ ” Width: 12”  Depth: 4”

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