Mantel clock with musical movement

Clockmaker: Jean-Baptiste-André Furet French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 521

This bust of an African princess is one of the most remarkable clocks in the Museum’s collection. The marble plinth contains a musical movement: a tiny pipe organ. On the hour, music would play and the figure’s eyes would open, showing the hour in roman numerals in her right eye and the minutes in arabic numerals in her left. By pulling her left earring, her eyes could be opened at any time—a feature that remains functional today.

Mantel clock with musical movement, Clockmaker: Jean-Baptiste-André Furet (French, ca. 1720–1807), Case: gilded and lacquered bronze and marble; Movement (in bust): brass and steel with enameled hour and minute chapter rings; Miniature organ with pipes and bellows (in base): brass, steel, and leather, French, Paris

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