Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 10

French Musical Automation Picture Clock



This incredible work of art blends the beauty of a painting with the mechanical complexities of both a cylinder music box and an automaton. A clock is integrated within the arched giltwood and gesso frame, and, when activated, this painting quite literally comes alive. As the cylinder mechanism within plays its lovely tune, every character in the farrier's shop becomes animated – from the group of farrier's toiling away at the forge and anvil forming the horseshoes, to the wagging of the charming terrier's tale. This musical automaton picture clock is attributed to Xavier Tharin of Paris who was the preeminent creator of these fantastical "moving pictures", especially this particular scene. His process mixed oil painting and hand-colored lithograph images that were layered starting from the back and into the middle and foreground to craft the complex series of movements throughout the painting. A look inside this particular work reveals the complex mechanism (with the three gongs, pendulum and cylinder components immediately visible) which run the timepiece, the cylinder musical component, plus the multitude of moving elements in the painting -- a truly incredible feat considering the technical prowess to create just one of these devices. Musical picture clocks most often blend only time and musical components, but to find a specimen that also includes the automaton workings as well is nothing short of extraordinary. French, circa 1880 Measures: 44" wide x 10 1/4" deep x 48 1/2" high.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 48.5 in (123.19 cm)Width: 44 in (111.76 cm)Depth: 10.25 in (26.04 cm)
  • Style
    Other (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1880
  • Condition
  • Seller Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 30-90191stDibs: LU891122998742

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping

    Ships From: New Orleans, LA
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn More
About the Seller
Located in New Orleans, LA
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Established in 1912
1stDibs seller since 2010
72 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 3 hours
More From This Seller
  • French Musical Automaton Picture Clock
    Located in New Orleans, LA
    One of the most amazing timepieces we have ever acquired that offers far more than meets the eye, this incredible work of art blends the beauty of a painting with the mechanical comp...

    Antique 19th Century French Other Wall Clocks



  • French Industrial Battleship Clock
    Located in New Orleans, LA
    Taking the form of a battleship, this French automaton clock is a spellbinding example of the complex artistry of industrial timepieces. This genre of clockmaking rose in popularity ...

    Antique 19th Century French Industrial Mantel Clocks



  • Joe DiMaggio's Presentation Desk Clock
    Located in New Orleans, LA
    From the personal collection of the legendary Joe DiMaggio, this incredible vintage desk clock was presented to the Yankee Clipper by Harrah's for his participation in their 1967 inv...

    20th Century Swiss Other Table Clocks and Desk Clocks



  • St. James Palace Skeleton Clock by Evans of Handsworth
    By William F. Evans of Handsworth
    Located in New Orleans, LA
    Depicting St. James Palace in London, this remarkable two-train fusée architectural skeleton clock is a wonderful specimen of 19th-century English clockmaking. Crafted by the preemin...

    Antique 19th Century English Victorian Mantel Clocks



  • Vacheron Constantin Chronometer
    By Vacheron Constantin
    Located in New Orleans, LA
    This exceptionally rare and important precision chronometer, or deck watch, was crafted by the famed Vacheron Constantin. One of the most accurate instruments ever created for measur...

    20th Century Swiss Other More Clocks



  • French Pendulum Skeleton Clock
    Located in New Orleans, LA
    Impeccable quality and craftsmanship distinguish this extraordinary Louis XVI-era pendulum skeleton clock. Crafted from doré bronze in a towering, graceful design, the French timepie...

    Antique 18th Century French Louis XVI Mantel Clocks


    Bronze, Enamel

You May Also Like

19th Century French musical automaton clock
Located in London, GB
This fine, antique mantel clock is constructed in ebonised wood by the renowned Parisian maker of automata, Xavier Tharin (French, active mid 19th Century). The clock face is set ont...

Antique 19th Century French Napoleon III Mantel Clocks


Enamel, Ormolu

Pair of French Walnut Clocks & Barometers
Located in New York, NY
Pair of French (Mid-19th Century) clock and barometer inset into carved walnut pendant frames. Crowned bearded male heads with decorative swags, scrolls, and floral wreaths. (PRICED ...

Antique Mid-19th Century French Scientific Instruments


Glass, Walnut

Iron Clock Face, France, circa 1940
Located in New York, NY
Extra large French clock face with Roman numerals. The clock is inscribed Lebrun Signy. It is a decorative, non functioning clock face.

Vintage 1940s French Wall Clocks



Rare Neoclassical Style French Giltwood Clock and Barometer Set
Located in London, GB
Rare neoclassical style French giltwood clock and barometer set French, 19th century Measures: Height 90cm, width 38cm, depth 12cm This duo comprises a wall clock and barometer,...

Antique 19th Century French Louis XVI Wall Clocks



French Rococo Style Gilt Bronze Clock and Barometer by Charpentier
By Charpentier et Cie
Located in London, GB
Designed in the French Rococo style, this clock and barometer set have been beautifully ornamented with scrolling foliate gilt bronze forms. The two are diamond shaped, with symmetri...

Antique Late 19th Century French Rococo Wall Clocks


Enamel, Ormolu, Bronze

Clock with Equestrian Motifs by Japy Frères of Beaucourt, France
By Japy Frères
Located in London, GB
An fine and detailed late 19th century equestrian clock by Japy Frères of Beaucourt, France. The clock is themed with various equestrian tack, including a horseshoe, stirrup, bit,...

Antique Late 19th Century French More Clocks


Silver Plate

Luxury Vintage Stirrup Table Clock Maquet Paris, Nice 8 Jours, France, 1940s
By Maquet, Hermès
Located in Buenos Aires, Olivos
Luxury vintage stirrup desk / table clock Maquet Paris - Nice 8 Jours, France, 1940s Clock with Equestrian / Polo / Racing horse Motifs in the style of Hermes (exactly the same mode...

Mid-20th Century French Art Deco Table Clocks and Desk Clocks



Antique French Neoclassical style Ormolu Clock and Barometer Set by Mottheau
By Maison Mottheau et Fils
Located in London, GB
Manufactured in the Louis XVI style, both clock and barometer are encased within an ormolu case and flanked on either side by trumpet wielding cherubs, each surmounted with a patinat...

Antique Late 19th Century French Louis XVI More Clocks


Bronze, Enamel

French Art Deco Figurative Marbled Galalith & Chrome Racing Yacht Shelf Clock.
Located in Port Hope, ON
The body of this distinctive Art Deco mechanical shelf clock is made in a sea blue/green marbled form of milk based French plastic that is known as Galalith or in the UK, Erinoid. I...

Vintage 1930s French Art Deco Clocks



Vintage Audoux Minet Style Nautical Wall Rope Clock Shaped Pocket Watch France
By Adrien Audoux and Frida Minet
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage Audoux Minet style nautical wall rope clock shaped in form of a pocket watch France. Marked LIC ATO / odo / made in France. The clock has not been tested.

Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Wall Clocks



Recently Viewed

View More

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Trusted Global Delivery