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Clock case
  • Clock case
    Barbedienne, Ferdinand, born 1810 - died 1892
  • Enlarge image

Clock case

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1855 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Barbedienne, Ferdinand, born 1810 - died 1892 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast bronze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ferdinand Barbedienne (06/08/1810-21/03/1892) was a French metalworker and manufacturer who was well known as a bronze founder. The son of a small farmer from Calvados, he started his career as a dealer in wallpaper in Paris. In 1838 he went into partnership with Achille Collas (1795-1859), who had just invented a machine to create miniature bronze replicas of statues. Together they started a business selling miniatures of antique statues from museums all over Europe, thus democratising art and making it more accessible to households. From 1843 they extended their scope by reproducing the work of living artists and also diversified by making enamelled household objects. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 the firm briefly had to switch to cannon founding owing to the shortage of metals but resumed business afterwards. Following Barbedienne's death in 1892, he was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery and the firm was carried on by his nephew Gustave Leblanc until 1952.

Among the principal artists reproduced by the firm were Antoine Louis Barye and Auguste Rodin.

Physical description

Clock case, a bronze group of the Three Graces on a triangular bronze pedestal in which is inserted a clock; a reduced copy (with some alterations) of the monument, designed to contain the heart of Henri II., by Germain Pilon.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1855 (made)


Barbedienne, Ferdinand, born 1810 - died 1892 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Cast bronze


Height: 23 in, Width: 12 in Dimensions of the group, Height: 13.5 in, Width: 17 in Dimensions of the pedestal

Object history note

Purchased from the Paris International Exhibition of 1855.

Descriptive line

Clock case, bronze, Paris, 1855, made by Barbedienne

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1856. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 28





Subjects depicted

Female figure; The Three Graces


Clocks & Watches; Metalwork; Sculpture


Metalwork Collection

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