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Case study

Restoring the Sunflower Clock

Learn more about the conservation of this eighteenth century, decorative clock

This 'Sunflower Clock' (RCIN 30240) is a gilt-bronze clock in the form of a sunflower, mounted into the centre of a Vincennes porcelain vase. It contains a bouquet of porcelain flowers which date from the early 1750s.

Natural flowers were sometimes mingled with the porcelain examples. As the porcelain bouquet surrounding the clock can be entirely removed, it is possible that the porcelain flower stems were placed in the vase over the winter, to be replaced with real specimens during the summer months.

Some of the original porcelain flowers were lost or damaged over time. In preparation for the exhibition Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, new eighteenth-century flowers were added to replace missing pieces, and others enlarged. The arrangement of the bouquet was also amended to match contemporary records. 

Discover more in the short film below.

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Related exhibition
Painting Paradise

This exhibition draws on oil paintings, works on paper, books, manuscripts and decorative arts from the Royal Collection to explore the way in which the garden inspired artists and craftsmen between 1500 and 1900.

Object featured in this case study

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Vincennes porcelain factory (1738-56)
The Sunflower clock c. 1752
    RCIN 30240

    A gilt bronze clock in the form of a sunflower, mounted into the centre of a Vincennes porcelain urn shape vase containing a bouquet of flowers, also of Vincennes porcelain, on stems of green laquered brass wire. Arranged as a loose bouquet, the porcelain flowers surround a Sunflower Clock which dates from the early 1750s. The clock’s dial...

    Conservation processes used in this case study

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    Cog being picked up by tweasers
    Process
    Repair