A VULLIAMY TEMPLE CLOCK.
The mantle-clocks marble case, conceived in the 1780s French fashion, comprises an urn-capped pillar on a Grecian rotunda-temple that recalls lyric poetry concerning Love's altar in antiquity. Such objets d'art clocks, a speciality of George IIIs clockmaker Benjamin Vulliamy (d.1811), helped his son Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (d.1858) adopt the role of Furniture Man (marchand-mercier) to George, Prince of Wales, later George IV. This clock type, uniting the Cardinal Arts of Architecture and Sculpture, evolved from Vulliamy's pedestal-supported clocks, such as his Chronos and Cupid clock supplied for George III (C. Jagger, Royal Clocks, London, 1983, fig.159). It well suited the architectural style of Henry Holland (d. 1806), whose Carlton House palace reflected the Princes role as the nation's Apollo of the Arts. Known as The Temple Clock its model was created around 1790 as a museum temple for Euterpe, the Mt. Parnassus companion of Apollo as sun and poetry deity; and a marble-like biscuit porcelain group of this flute-playing Muse of Epic Poetry was intended to stand before a triumphal-arch engraved on a golden tablet. Her Hellenistic figure was executed under the direction of William Duesbury following his employment in 1790 at the Derby porcelain manufactory of the talented sculptor-modeller Johann Jakob Spangler from Zurich (see C. Gilbert, Furniture at Temple Newsam House and Lotherton Hall, Leeds, Vol. I, 1978, no. 213; and T. Clifford, J.J. Spangler, "A Virtuoso Swiss modeller at Derby", Connoisseur, June 1978 pp.146-155). The Royal Horological Institute owns the Vulliamy Clock Book, which records the manufacturing costs of some of these Spring Time Piece in a Temple Case, such as that numbered 304 with the suppliers named as Day for marble, Huguenin for the brass-work, Crockett for engraving the gilding and Duesbury for the figure. A Temple clock, with figure of Euterpe, may also have been amongst the items removed from Carlton House and taken to Windsor Castle in the early l9th century (Windsor Castle Official Guide, 1997, p.21, no.15). Another Temple clock, numbered "345" was purchased in 1801 by Sir George Hill (T. Clifford, "New evidence Concerning Vulliamy Clocks and Duesbury Porcelain", Derby Porcelain International Society Journal).