Designed in the Louis XV picturesque manner, this clock celebrates the Triumph of Love and derives from Ovid's Metamorphoses concerning plants, animals and the pagan gods ability to commune with mortals. Jupiter, the father of the gods, is represented as the loving abductor, who, seeing the nymph Europa gathering flowers by the shore, adopted the guise of a bull to carry her away to the consternation of her companions. This celebrated model is displayed in several collections; a closely related example signed by Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain and originating from the Château de Saint-Cloud and the Tuileries, is exhibited at the Musée de Louvre, Paris (OA5168), and illustrated in H. Ottomeyer, P. Proschel, et. al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 125, fig. 2.8.8.
With its distinctive pierced scroll base centred by a ribbon-tied berried spray, the present clock case can be firmly attributed to Robert Osmond based on a virtually identical clock signed by him and illustrated in P. Kjellberg, La Pendule Franaçaise, Paris, 1997, p. 132-3. Maître-fondeur en terre et sable in 1746 and appointed juré des fondeurs in 1756, Osmond's early designs are characterized by their restrained outlines and classicizing tone, and are among the most accomplished exemplars of the mature Louis XV style of the 1750s termed 'rocaille symmetrisé'. A related clock, sold Christie's London, 5 July 1973, lot 31, and now in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California, (Accession number 73.DB.85), is illustrated and discussed in A. Sassoon and G. Wilson, Decorative Arts, A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, 1986, p. 41, fig. 88, where further examples stamped by Robert Osmond are listed.