Jean-Baptiste Lepaute, clockmaker to Louis XVI, worked in close collaboration with Claude Michel Clodion, one of the most inventive and technically gifted sculptors of his time, to create this unique clock. Clodion was trained in Rome, where he studied classical art. Here, he sculpted three semi-draped nymphs dancing around a column, perhaps the three Horae (hours), who personify the passage of time in Greek mythology. They support Lepaute’s complex pendulum clock with a rotating annual dial meant to be admired through a transparent glass globe. Lepaute and Clodion created this extraordinary piece for its first owner, the architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart.
Source: Vignon, Charlotte. The Frick Collection Decorative Arts Handbook. New York: The Frick Collection/Scala, 2015.