With its distinctive eagle-head terminals swagged with fruiting garlands and central lyre body, this Apollo lyre-clock echoes the design for a regulateur by Louis Prieur, which is held in the Muse des Arts Dcoratifs, Paris (illustrated in H. Ottomeyer, P. Prschel et al. Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, p.253, fig. 4.6.28). Almost identical in form, save for the design of the plinth, to the clock supplied to Versailles with movement by Manire (ibid., p.232, fig. 4.6.25), this distinctive plinth can be seen on the unattributed design in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (illustrated in M. L. Myers, French Architectural and Ornamental Drawings of the Eighteenth Century, New York, 1992, p.204, no.121 (60.692. 80.)
Executed in both marble and Svres porcelain, lyre-clocks enjoyed enduring popularity, but it is the porcelain examples - which were both more expensive and probably the earliest clocks of this model to be made - that are perhaps best documented. Porcelain cases for lyre-shaped clocks were first produced at the Svres Manufactory in 1785. Made in turquoise blue, green, pink and bleu nouveau, the latter was the most popular ground color. The clockmaker D.D. Kinable was the largest buyer of such cases from the factory, buying thirteen between 1795 and 1807. Amongst the earliest of these is the lyre-clock in the Louvre (inv. O.A.R.483 - P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dors Franais du XVIIIe Sicle, Paris, 1987, p. 41, ill. 32), the dial of which is signed Coteau 1787, which was supplied for the Salon des Jeux at Versailles: Une pendule de chemine en porcelaine de Svres fond bleu cadran 4 aiguilles, orne de rangs de perles et guirlandes de fleurs, le haut termin par un soleil sous verre de 22 pouces de haut. It was valued at 1600 livres.