The mantel clock evokes the concept of time well spent. It is crowned by Jupiter's eagle who bears sacred oak garlands above the clock face, whose Ionic capital cradle is framed by addorsed grammar-studying nymphs. They are seated on a Grecian marble plinth which is centred by an Arcadian bacchic Pan-mask amongst golden flowered bas reliefs, the whole resting on bacchic lion paws.
The two seated figures derive from the model of L'Etude, which together with La Philosophie, was created for the Sèvres factory by Louis-Simon Boizot in 1780. Under the instructions of the marchand-mercier Dominique Daguerre, these figures were incorporated into a clock design, from which the present clock derives, by the cisleur-doreur François Rémond (H. Ottomeyer, P. Proschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 295, fig. 4.17.5). In 1788 Daguerre delivered two clocks after his new design to Louis XVI for the Château de St. Cloud (P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Français du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 322). The model obviously appealed to the Prince of Wales, later George IV, as he purchased two clocks of this model from Daguerre, one of which was in his bedroom, the other in his dressing-room (C. Jagger, Royal Clocks, London, 1983, p. 155, figs. 211-212).
This clock may have been bought from the clockmaker jeweller, Thomas Weeks (d. 1834), who established his museum of mechanical curiosities in Tichborne Street in about 1797. A clock of closely related form and signed 'WEEKS'S MUSEUM', was sold anonymously in these Rooms, 8 July 1993, lot 5. That clock also had the same ebonised plinth that the present clock has. The movement of the present clock bears the name of Santiago James Moore French of the Royal Exchange, London, who was a freeman of the Clockmaker's Company from 1810-1840.