Venus Guided by Love Mantel Clock by Lesieur


An important French Empire Gilt Bronze Mantel Clock depicting “Venus Guided by Love” featuring a case by the noted bronzier Lesieur. The round enamel dial, signed “Lesieur à Paris”, indicates the Roman numeral hours and minute graduations. It is housed in a finely chased bronze altar whose pediment is decorated with egg and dart friezes, and be-ribboned torches on either side; the façade is adorned with applied stylized butterfly and lyre motifs. The sides feature be-ribboned flower wreaths, and the plinth a leaf frieze. Two fine gilt bronze figures depict a winged and semi-nude Cupid who is pointing to the time, while addressing Venus who is clothed in antique robes and gazes lovingly at him. The rectangular green marble base rests on a gilt bronze plinth, raised upon four flattened toupie feet.

The unusual design of the clock places it among the finest mythology-inspired clocks created in Paris in the early 19th century. It depicts a scene derived from classical mythology, in which Cupid is warning the goddess of love of time’s effect on her beauty.


Only a few identical models are known. They are generally much smaller in size, and often feature variations, particularly in the treatment of the base. One such clock appears in the Mobilier National in Paris (illustrated in E. Dumonthier, Les bronzes du Mobilier National, Pendules et Cartels, Paris, undated (circa 1911), plate 37; and in E. Niehüser, Die französische Bronzeuhr, Munich, 1997, p. 211, fig. 276). A second piece, perhaps the same as the preceding clock, and now in a private German collection, is shown in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, p. 366, fig. 5.13.2; a further clock, formerly in the collection of the Prince de la Moskowa, very likely Léon-Napoléon-Louis-Michel Ney, Prince de Moskowa (1870-1928) (sold in Paris by Me Lair-Dubreuil, Galerie Georges Petit, May 27-29, 1929, lot 56).

Lesieur, supplier of bronzes to the Imperial Garde-meuble, helped furnish Napoleon’s residences, along with Thomire and Galle.

Dimensions:23″H (60cm) x 18″W (47cm) x 9″D (22cm)

Ref: KD LW 8265