Jean-François Denière (1774−1866)
Malachite and Gilt-Bronze Mantel Clock
Paris, c. 1810
Malachite and gilt bronze
17 x 10 1/16 x 6 1/2 in
Horace Wood Brock Collection
At their meeting at Tilsitt in June 1807, the French Emperor Napoleon received from the Russian Tsar Alexander I several magnificent gifts, including many malachite pieces that were later mounted in gilt-bronze by François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter after designs by the architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François Fontaine. Soon after, malachite mounted with gilt-bronze became fashionable among members of the First Empire’s high society. Jean-François Denière, known primarily as a bronze maker, supplied clocks and candelabra for the French palaces, most notably Versailles and the Grand Trianon. The provenance of this piece, however, remains unknown.