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  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1625-1675 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by the late Captain Henry Boyles Murray

  • Museum number:

    W.52:1, 2-1911

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This case protected a mantel clock, possibly of gilt bronze, when transported or stored. Its shape indicates that the clock it was made to house was squat and square, suggesting a date in the mid-seventeenth century.

The case is made of wood, lined with pink silk and covered with a thin layer of very fine hide, probably calf skin, dyed red. It is likely that the hide was decorated before it was applied by damping it down and impressing it with a variety of heated tools. Rollers and stamps were used to create a recessed pattern which, once the hide was dry, would last indefinitely. The pattern was then filled with gold leaf and polished. The decorated hide was glued to the wood and the corners reinforced with round-headed nails.

The two side handles are formed as dolphins flanking a mask, and the escutcheon features two cherubs holding an oval cartouche surrounded by swags of drapery.

Physical description

Leather case for a clock; of wood, covered with stamped and gilt leather. It has brass mounts. The surface is covered with rosettes and scrollwork borders; mounts consist of escutcheons chased with cherubs; moulded handle on lid, borders of nails, side drop handles each consisting of a mark between two dolphins.

Place of Origin

France (made)


1625-1675 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 28.5 cm, Width: 25.5 cm, Depth: 15.5 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed in 1911 by the late Captain Henry Boyles Murray.

Descriptive line

DC1; French 1600-1700

(case); French, 1600-1700


Leather; Wood; Silk; Brass


Dyeing; Tooling

Subjects depicted

Cherub; Dolphin


Leather; Containers; Clocks & Watches; Woodwork; Medieval and renaissance


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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