A Clock for your Valentine: An Antique French White Marble and Gilt Mantel Clock by Rollin of Paris

February 13th 2020

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow & Mothering Sunday in March, you may be thinking of what special gift you could find for your beloved. This antique clock might fit the bill. Signed by French clockmakers Rollin of Paris, it stands 14 inches tall and dates to about 1875. French design is always elegant & often flamboyant, and the Belle Epoque was a period when the arts and design flourished in Paris and France. This hour-striking mantel clock is a wonderful example of this era. 

The elegant white marble case, inspired by the age of Louis XV as well as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, is applied with a profusion of gilt foliate decoration. Gilt cornucopia seem to spill down the sides of the clock, while delicate bows and a foliate band surround the central dial and the base.

The overall symbolism seems to be of abundance and also love, for the case is surmounted by a bow and arrow within a tied ribbon, a symbol of Cupid. The white enamel dial with Arabic numerals is fully signed and has delicately pierced gilt hands.

The French firm of clockmakers, Rollin á Paris, took over from Domange in 1840 and from 1870 were established at Rue de Dunkerque, Paris. Rollin were known to make fine mantel and table clocks, often inspired by 18thcentury examples, and employed a variety of styles in their designs including ormolu, marble & Sevres porcelain.

This marvellous clock would look stunning on a mantelpiece, in a library or boudoir. With a hint of the feminine in its decorative style, it is also sophisticated and stylish in equal measure.