Le Sacrifice d’Iphigénie French Empire Clock


A fine example of a period French Empire mantle clock which depicts the argument between Achilles and Agamemnon in Homer’s Iliad. The case is of matte and burnished gilded bronze, the stepped rectangular base has a large frieze across the front depicting soldiers at war. The clock is adorned with decorative armorial mounts on each side of the frieze. The central rectangular plinth is richly decorated and houses the original dial and silk-string suspension movement, a gilt helmet and sword decorate the top. The white enamel dial with Breguet hands also has a hand indicating the days of the month, the dial is signed ‘Ridel a Paris’. On each side of the plinth are the two standing patinated bronze figures.

Homer’s Iliad:

The Iliad starts off with a dispute between Agamemnon, son of Atreus and Achilles, son of Peleus. Agamemnon is the King of Mycenae and brother to the King of sparta, Menelaus. Menelaus lost his wife, Helen, to Paris, the son of Priam, and has called upon his brother to go to war with the Trojans to get back Helen. Agamemnon being the hubris person he is, agreed and gathered thousands upon thousands of Greeks to attack Troy. Before the Greeks attacked Troy they overtook another city where Agamemnon took a priest’s daughter, Chryseis, as his prize. Her father, Chryses, tried to ransom his daughter, but Agamemnon laughed at him and sent him away. The priest then prayed to the sun god Apollo. Apollo heard his prayer and he rained arrows upon the Greeks.

Achilles recognized that the reason the men were getting ill was because of Agamemnon’s refusal of the ransom. Achilles called a gathering of the men to explain this phenomenon and Agamemnon was forced to return the priest’s daughter. After Agamemnon lost his prize he decided to take Briseis, Achilles’ woman. Achilles response to this was pure outrage and he then decides to take himself out of the war with the Trojans. This decision determines the rest of the events that occur in the Iliad.

Dimensions: 24″H (61cm) x 21″W (53cm) x 8″D (20cm)