To be executed in gilt bronze; silvered metal dial; black marble platform
The goddess of the Dawn, her finger raised to caution silence, drawing back a coverlet from an infant sleeping on a draped plinth fronted by the clock; the frieze with a studious child between lyres 17in. high
Aurora's daily task was to lead the sun god Helios (later Apollo) into the sky, heralding the day. She is thus a natural subject for a clock and is generally shown pulling a coverlet (the mantle of darkness) away from the dial, exposing the time to daylight. However, here she reveals a sleeping infant, alluding to the posthumous royal infant, the duc de Bordeaux. His birth signified a new dawn for the Bourbon dynasty, providing the heir presumptive to the throne. He would therefore be shown in the frieze as pursuing his education.
Samoyault, 1989, illustrates a mantel clock supplied by Bailly in 1806 for the palace of Fontainebleau described as une pendule l'Inquietude maternelle (a clock modelled on the subject of maternal concern). It similarly shows a young mother lifting a coverlet from a sleeping infant.
Watercolour and gouache over lithographic line, on laid paper
Inscribed: J. B. A. / Impie Lithographique de C Motte Rue des Marais No.13 Numbered: 18
47.00cm wide 64.80cm high (18.50 inches wide 25.51 inches high)
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