Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Mantel clock with musical movement

Maker:
Clockmaker: Jean-Baptiste-André Furet (French, ca. 1720–1807)
Date:
ca. 1784
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Case: gilded and lacquered bronze and marble; Movement (in bust): brass and steel with enameled hour and minute chapter rings; Miniature organ with pipes and bellows (in base): brass, steel, and leather
Dimensions:
Overall: 29 × 16 1/4 × 9 in. (73.7 × 41.3 × 22.9 cm)
Classification:
Horology
Credit Line:
Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958
Accession Number:
58.75.127
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 523
This bust of an African princess is one of the most remarkable clocks in the Museum’s collection. The marble plinth contains a musical movement: a tiny pipe organ. On the hour, music would play and the figure’s eyes would open, showing the hour in roman numerals in her right eye and the minutes in arabic numerals in her left. By pulling her left earring, her eyes could be opened at any time—a feature that remains functional today.
Signature: Signed on enameled plaque at base of bust: Furet HGER du Roi
Baron J.L. Léopold Double , Paris (until 1881; sold at his house, 9 rue Louis-le-Grand, , Paris, May 30–June 4, 1881, no. 274); Marquis de Lambertie ; C. Ledyard Blair , Peapack, New Jersey ; The Samuel H. Kress Foundation (until 1958; to MMA)
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