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The furniture-makers Nicholas Morel and George Seddon went into partnership in 1826 to decorate George IV’s new Private Apartments in Windsor Castle. The firm produced a series of designs showing the principal elevations of each room, with the intended

George IV's lavish refurbishment of the Green Drawing Room at Windsor, 1824-30

Thomire & Cie

Mantel clock c.1806-12

Chased and gilt bronze, verde antico marble | RCIN 30016

Green Drawing Room, Windsor Castle

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George IV included in his furnishings for Windsor Castle some of the finest eighteenth- and early-nineteenth century French works of art from his former home, Carlton House. This clock is one of several recorded in a 'Pictorial Inventory' of items for consideration for the Castle. It was sent to Windsor by the King's Clockmaker, Benjamin Vulliamy, in November 1828, to stand on the main chimneypiece of the Green Drawing Room. The clock represents an incident in the struggle between the Sabines and the Romans, when Sabine women intervened to reconcile the warring parties. Romulus, to the right, is poised to hurl his spear at Tatius, King of the Sabines, but a group of Sabine women with their infants have thrown themselves between the antagonists. 

  • Creator(s)

    Thomire & Cie (clockmaker (case))

    Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854) (clockmaker (movement))

    After Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) (artist)

    View person page

    Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751-1843) (metalworker)

    France (nationality)

  • Clock with Sabine Women

  • Pierre-Philippe Thomire was the outstanding Parisian bronzeur and gilder of the early nineteenth century. He supplied finely chased mounts to leading Parisien ébénistes for furniture, clocks and the Sèvres porcelain factory. He was much patronised by Napoleon who made him Ciseleur de l'Empereur.  His work represents some of the finest examples of Empire style.

    In 1804 he acquired business of the marchand-mercier, Martin-Eloi Lignereux. The company employed a large workforce in a workshop at rue Boucherat and a showroom at rue Taitbout, from where Thomire retailed a large range of decorative objects inspired by antiquity including candelabra, extravagant centrepieces, clock cases and monumental Greek and Roman style urns and vases.

    Thomire collaborated with three partners, renaming the business for a time Thomire, Duterme et Cie. The business suffered as a result of France's continuing European hostilities and to avoid bankruptcy the firm was granted dispensation to trade with the Prince Regent . Soon after 1815 the partnership with Duterme was dissolved and, under the old style, Thomire et Cie thrived once more under the restored Bourbons.

    Thomire retired in 1823 and his two sons-in-law, Louis-Auguste-Cesar Carbonelle and André-Antoine Beauvisage, continued the business until 1852. Thomire continued to work as a sculptor and exhibited regularly at the Salon until 1834.

    Received at Carlton House on 24 June 1812 (Jutsham Recs.I p. 205).   Included in the Pictorial Inventory of 1827-33 – RCIN 934749. The inventory was originally created as a record of the clocks, vases, candelabra and other miscellaneous items from Carlton House, as well as selected items from the stores at Buckingham House, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace for consideration in the refurbishment of Windsor Castle. The clock was listed in the 1826 inventory of Carlton House in the Crimson Drawing Room and was despatched to Windsor Castle on 21 July 1828.

    At some stage the clock was moved to the Royal Pavilion, Brighton. It was consigned to Windsor following Queen Victoria's decision to sell the Royal Pavilion in 1846. It is item 26 in a 'List of Clocks, Shades Etc packed at the Pavilion Brighton 1846. Delivered by Mr. Tupper to Windsor Castle. 6 Jan 1847' and described as 'A Clock in a japanned case with ormolu rims vase etc. japanned Chinese Figures on a japanned base'.

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