This charming and amusing clock features a Harlequin wearing a mask and holding a Comptoise clock surmounted by a bird peeking out of its gable with the door inscribed 'l'artiste du jour. The Harlequin, a main character of the Commedia dell'Arte is depicted here in a facetious and mischevious pause, gesturing the bird not to alert the victim of an imminent trick.
The dial of this clock is signed by Basile-Charles Leroy (1765 - 1828), maître in 1788, who is recorded to have collaborated on clocks with foremost bronziers such as Rémond and Galle. Interestingly, Leroy was appointed Horloger de Son Altesse Impériale Madame Mère de l'Empereur Napoléon in 1805, Horloger du Roi de Westphalie circa 1810, and Horloger du Roi under the French Restauration. A virtually identical Harlequin clock is illustrated in E. Niehüser, French Bronze Clocks, 1700-1830, Munich, 1999, p. 168.