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Pierrot Faience Clock, 1920s

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Posted 3 years ago


(383 items)

I don't know much about this Faience (porcelain) clock other than that is probably from Belgium, or Northern France and was also produced in White and black.

The first time I saw this clock was the morning of the announcement that Robin Williams had committed suicide. I was going to bid on it, but got busy and time to bid had run out. It was re-listed about three weeks later and I got it. It is a sad figure of Pierrot laying across the top of a clock clutching his heart with his lute laying in front of the clock. I guess the symbolism of the clock and the figure is that time runs out. The clock to me is a beautiful but bittersweet tribute to a man who made to whole world laugh but died alone. I am sentimental, I admit that and that is the reason I bought the clock.

The clock is 16" wide, 10.5" tall and 4.5 inches in depth, the clock still runs. The only markings on the clock are on each end of it. "Reg 790746" is on the right end "6-90" is on the left end. "LCM" is inscribed lightly on the back of the clock.

Up to the middle of the 19th century, a clock was an expensive object: its clockwork was hand made. The possession of time was thus reserved to the elite. Alarm-clocks started to be produced industrially around 1850; but it was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that clockworks, manufactured in the Black Forest and France, became really cheap. Ceramic (faence) was then the inexpensive "plastic" material: in the ceramic producing areas, it was chosen to dress these clockworks: clock became handsome and affordable to everybody.

Therefore in the Twenties a significant industry of the faence clock developed in Belgium and North of France. And because owning the time was important in the developing industrial world, the ceramic clock ended up in the focus point of the house, the chimney. It became a mantelpiece ornament, the clock being surrounded by two sidepieces, vases or cups. In the twenties and the thirties, it was not only a valuably useful object, it was also the nice object of the house, proudly and conspicuously decorating the chimney mantel.


  1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 3 years ago
  2. timeless5 timeless5, 3 years ago
    What a beautiful piece. More beautiful is the reasons why you bought it. He made us all laugh
  3. earlquinn1 earlquinn1, 3 years ago
    Oh wow. Your story and description made it even more beautiful. Thanks for sharing. It's such an exquisite and such find!

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