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A Neoclassical Cast-Brass and Mercury-Gilded Mantel Clock

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American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2255
Date / Time :
November 07, 2004 11:00AM


A Neoclassical Cast-Brass and Mercury-Gilded Mantel Clock, made for the American market, Dubuc, Paris, c. 1810, with an eight-day spring powered clockwork that strikes the hour and half hour, the image of George Washington, with a sword in his left hand and right arm outstretched with document in hand, to his right an eagle clutching olive branches and a shield on a plinth inscribed "E PLURIBUS UNUM"; the rectangular case with convex circular enamel dial inscribed "Dubuc Rue Michel-le Comte No. 33A, Paris", with scroll star spandrels above and a swag below flanked by flaming torches, the swag reading "WASHINGTON First in WAR, First in PEACE, First in the HEARTS of his COUNTRYMEN", George Washington is dressed in the uniform he wore while commander-in-chief of the military, holding his resignation which he offered to the United States Congress on December 23, 1783. The stance is derived from Trumbull's portrait of Washington at the Battle of Trenton. The raised plaque in the center of the base shows Washington returning his sword, symbolic of the authority given him as head of the Revolutionary forces. In this iconography, Washington is being likened to the great Roman citizen-soldier, Cincinnatus, who earned his reputation after he had been called to protect Rome as her military leader and instead of entering Rome as the great conquering General returned to his life as a citizen farmer. Washington became the modern Cincinnatus by relinquishing his sword to the congress and returning to Mt. Vernon; this brass case rests on a molded base and bun feet, retains original gilt, accompanied with original glass dome and ebonized base, ht. 19 1/2, wd. 14 1/2 in.
Estimate $100,000-150,000


George Washington, United States Congress, Paris, head , military leader , Mt. Vernon, United States