Late 18th Century Le Roi à Paris Fire-Gilded Bronze “Art of Astronomy” Mantel Clock
Dimensions: 13-1/2″H x 7″W x 4-3/8″D
This exquisite fire-gilded bronze mantel clock was made in France circa 1790-1800. Depicting the Arts in Astronomy, it features a winged cherub reading from a scroll with a painted bronze globe and telescope nearby. The delicate hand-painted enamel dial is marked “Le Roi à Paris”. The fire-gilded case is mounted with fine scrolling palmette leaf anthemia, raised on a plinth base which is decorated with a quiver, arrows, and a flaming torch; the whole supported by etched bun feet. The ancient and perilous process of fire gilding leaves behind a shine like no other. It requires gold to be dissolved by boiling it in liquid mercury over a flame. Once the mercury is vaporized the fire-gilder is left with gold that can be spread onto the desired object which is then burnished with a hard, smooth stone leaving behind a beautiful shine that resembles solid gold.