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Bronze and Porphyry Clock by Julien Le Roy, 19th Century



A magnificent 19th century French Louis XVI ormolu and patinated bronze mounted Porphyry clock with two reclining bronze cherubs playing a gilt harp. The movement made by Dargent Medallie Company with silk suspension. Signed by Julien Le Roy. Julien Le Roy(1686-1759) was a major 18th century Parisian clockmaker and watchmaker. He was born in Tours in 1686, and by the age of 13, had already made his first clock. In 1699, he moved to Paris for further training. He became maitre horloger in 1713 and later juré of his guild. Further appointments followed, including the Directorship of the Société des Arts, but the pinnacle of his achievement was being appointed clockmaker (Horloger Ordinaire du Roi) to King Louis XV in 1739. He carried on his business from premises in the Rue du Harlay until his death in 1759. A celebrated maker, who raised the status of French watchmaking by the perfection of his work and design. Devised the horizontal arrangement of parts in turret clocks, and gained a great reputation for his turret clocks. Devised a compensation pendulum in 1738 and an escapement for pendulum clocks. First made thin repeating watches by omitting the bell and allowing the hammers to strike on the case. About 1725 introduced the French form of potence with screw adiustment. Wrote several memoirs on horology. Fine Boulle clock: Palais de Fontainebleau. Silver travelling clock and cartel clock: National Museum, Stockholm. His son Pierre Le Roy (1717–1785), a brilliant clock-maker in his own right, carried on the business until the early 1780s. Another son, Julien-David Le Roy (1724–1803), was a neo-classical architect and archaeologist, author of the Ruins of the Most Beautiful Monuments of Greece. Examples of his work can be found in many major museums around the world, including the Louvre, Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The term "porphyry" is from the Greek and means "purple." Throughout history porphyry was considered a royal stone by emperors, pharaohs and kings and was treasured for its color, texture and hardness. Since the Roman era, roads, public spaces, and squares have been paved with porphyry and many exist to this day throughout Europe.


  • Creator
    Julien Le Roy (Clockmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 17 in. (43.18 cm)Width: 23 in. (58.42 cm)Depth: 8 in. (20.32 cm)
  • Style
    Louis XVI (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Mid-19th Century or Earlier
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    Cypress, CA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU197034747593

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Cypress, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Cypress, CA
Vetted Seller
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Established in 1990
1stDibs seller since 2016
178 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 8 hours
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