The profound symbolism encapsulated within this 19th-century gilt bronze clock set with an allegorical muse, (elegantly adorned in a Greek toga), presents a riveting narrative that bridges the classical and modern worlds. This statue, standing with poise next to an inscribed bronze column bearing the names of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, and Racine, offers a timeless homage to the transcendent power of drama and the enduring legacy of its most venerable practitioners.

At first glance, the statue’s composition—a female figure in classical attire—evokes the rich tradition of Greek mythology and philosophy, symbolising the values of wisdom, harmony, and beauty that were so cherished by ancient cultures. The Greek toga, a garment associated with philosophers, statesmen, and orators, imbues the statue with an air of dignity and gravitas, suggesting the statue’s role as a guardian of knowledge and a bridge between the past and present.

The column beside which the statue stands serves as a literal and figurative support, engraved with the names of five towering figures of world literature: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the great tragedians of ancient Greece; William Shakespeare, the English playwright whose works have captivated audiences for centuries; and Jean Racine, a master of French classical drama. These names collectively represent the zenith of dramatic literature, spanning different epochs and cultures, yet united by their profound exploration of the human condition, the complexities of fate, and the intricacies of character.

This clock set and statue is not merely a decorative piece; it is a symbolic gesture that honors the universal themes of tragedy and comedy, love and loss, power and downfall that these playwrights so masterfully depicted. It reminds us that the questions posed by these ancient and early modern texts remain relevant today, as they touch upon the essence of what it means to be human.

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

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Napoleon III Black Marble and Gilt Bronze Clock Set

Stock Number: 14851

A large Napoleon III black marble and ormolu clock set with gilt neo-classical busts flanking a central white enamel clock face with Roman numerals, a pair of urns with raised and gilt handles, all standing on hairy paw feet.

Clock Height with statue 80cm Width 62cm Depth 21cm
Urn Height 53cm Width 23cm Depth 16cm

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Approximate Dimensions

  • Height: 80 cm (31.5 inches)
  • Width: 62 cm (24.4 inches)
  • Depth: 21 cm (8.3 inches)


Period & Circa Date:





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In the UK Online sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’. We offer a refund to customers if you’ve told us within 3 days of receiving the goods that you want to cancel. You have another 14 days to return the goods once you’ve told us of your intention. A refund will be issued within 14 days of receiving the goods back in the same condition. Return shipping should be the same level as received with insurance, we recommend using the same shipper at your cost. If needed we will help organise suitable shipping.

We will refund the purchase price, excluding delivery costs and taxes, within 14 days of the safe receipt of items in the same condition as supplied. The liability for any damage incurred during transit will remain with the sender. We recommend that adequate insurance is placed on items when returning them to us.

All returns must be communicated prior to an item being sent back.

We extend these Return terms to our international clients.

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We will ship worldwide however the costs vary between countries so please email us for a quote. Depending on the item we will recommend the most suitable method.

Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.


All items are sent fully insured at the invoice value.


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This is dependent on the size and value of the object, all items are checked over and polished before shipping and will generally have wooden crates made. This all takes time so expect 10 – 20 working days for delivery unless the item is small in which case 2-3 days from order.


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