Mantel clock ‘The vigil of Alexander the Great’
Bronze, cast, embossed, gilded
Probably St Petersburg, Russia, 1820–1830
This clock, made by Russian artists, is based on the well-known work by French master Louis Lenoir-Ravrio. The centre piece – inspired by the famous ancient sculpture Mars Ludovisi, now in the National Museum in Rome – is decorated with a peaceful story from the life of Alexander. In this story, the young Alexander, determined to strengthen his concentration and willpower, would hold a ball while studying. If he became too relaxed or sleepy, the ball would clatter noisily onto a copper dish and wake him.