Victorian, 1830s to 1900s


Gien France Blackamoor Elephant Faience Majolica Clock

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This is an extremely rare museum quality Majolica scene clock by Gien France. Dating from the Victorian Era, it is very impressive in size (much larger than most clocks Gien made) and a joy to look at, with its bright intense colors. The style has a definite Arabic influence, depicting a scene of a young man trying to retrieve something from a mischievous monkey who has climbed on the back of the elephant in front of the howdah (howdaj).

At first, I thought the monkey was holding the clock key (it would make sense, right?) but after extensive research, I found out there is tobacco jar version of this scene. I cannot find another one of these clocks anywhere on the Web, not even in previous auction house results. The tobacco jar is not as tall as the clock and is definitely a container with a lid. We concluded this piece was originally made as a clock and is not "repurposed".

The clock movement was made by Japy Frere, it is key wind. It works, ticks, and chimes but needs a pendulum and a key. It has a gorgeous enameled dial.

This rare Majolica clock is perfect for the Gien, Majolica or clock collector alike.

It is well worth restoring and it presents beautifully as is. It needs a key and pendulum, the monkey might have held a pipe originally and the elephant tusks have repairs and have lost the tips. I cannot find any evidence of the clock having a base. The tobacco jar does not seem to have one either.

It weighs 12lbs 7 oz. Measures 16 3/4" or 42.5 cm high by 13" or 33cm long and 8" or 20.5cm deep, approximately. These are the largest dimensions in each direction. The base is 11 7/8" by 7 5/8", approximately.

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