Charles Rey, maître horloger in 1770.
This unusual mantel clock, with a galleon on waves surmounted by a portrait of Louis XVI, metaphorically depicts France steered by its King. This motif recurs in several forms of the fine and decorative arts, particularly during the Louis XVI period, when his idealised personification as Roman general or in this case, as 'navigator' of the State, features on a number of related mantel clocks. An example with a movement by Merra is illutrated in P. Kjellberg, La Pendule Française, Paris, 1997, p. 270, fig. A further example, with a movement by Ferdinand Berthoud is illustrated in E. Niehüser, French Bronze clocks, 1700-1830, Atglen, 1999, p. 72, fig. 105.