Charles Balthazar (c. 1700-1773), clockmaker; Jacques Confesseur, founder (attr. to), “Le Temps prêt à trancher le fil de la vie” table clock, c. 1745/1749
Cast bronze, chased and gilded, enamelled dial, glass
Gift of Michel Leclercq in memory of Yvette Laurent née Masson and Jean-Claude Leclercq, 2014
© Les Arts Décoratifs / photo: Jean Tholance
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This clock shows the popularity of gilt bronze in the decorative arts during the reign of Louis XV. Power and delicacy are closely combined here. Dominating the composition, the figure of Time is represented by a winged old man, nude, holding a scythe. He is pulling towards himself a drapery being held in vain by two putti, revealing the figure of a young nude woman, raising an arm in a gesture of fear. Symbolically, he is preparing to cut the thread of Life when the hour comes.