The clock is designed in the Empire or Grecian manner promoted by the artist Jacques-Louis David (d.1825) and by Percier and Fontaine's, Recueil de decorations interieures, published in 1801, and evokes the triumph of lyric poetry and the virtue of Constancy in Love.
Its laurel-wreathed altar, guarded by Venus's sacred swans, bears an inscribed tablet and a bas-relief of blindfolded Cupid serving to warn against inconstancy. The trimming of the wings of Venus's dove by a maiden seated beside a garlanded and enflamed candelabrum, recalls the history of Venus and her lover Adonis. Likewise the bas-relief of its stepped plinth is inspired by Rome's Temple of Fortuna and with its candelabra and butterfly-bearing Cupids, recalls the love story of Cupid and Psyche. This composition replaces the usual iconology of 'Inconstancy' represented by the moon symbol of the huntress deity Diana.
A nearly identical ormolu and bronze mantel clock with a movement by Lepaute, was sold in these Rooms, 13 June 1991 (£5,500).
An unsigned clock of a very similar model was sold at Sotheby's London, 8 July 1983, lot 128.