A large Empire portal shaped porphyry mantel clock, gilt bronze dial and base decorated with leaf border and standing on lion paws. The dial signed 'Galle, rue Vivienne 9. Paris, early 19th century. H. 52 cm. W. 30 cm. D. 19 cm.
Claude Galle was one of the leading bronzeurs of his day and he created numerous gilt bronzes for the Royal and subsequently Imperial household. Born at Villepreux near Versailles, he was apprenticed to the fondeur, Pierre Foy at rue du Four. In 1784 he married Foy's daughter and after the Foy's death, took over the workshop and built it into one the finest of its kind, eventually employing about 400 craftsmen. In 1786 he became a maitre-fondeur and in the same year received the first of many commissions from the Garde-Meuble to furnish the royal palaces. Galle moved the business to Quai de la Monnaie and from 1805 traded from 60 Rue Vivienne.