Bound to spark conversation and undoubtedly a historic addition of home décor, Sarasota Trading Company’s French Empire clock brings a piece of the past forward long after the style’s reign. Crafted in Paris around 1870—overlapping with the industrial revolution, the reign of Napoleon III and the Franco-Prussian war that brought it to an end—this clock also reflects the advent of Renaissance Revival. This newly emerging style was predominantly seen in architecture but similarly manifested in handcrafted furniture, focusing on luxury and opulent finishes. Such can be seen with this clock’s presentation, mimicking Napoleonic influences through bold design and inlaid bronze. The European Golden Age dissipated around 1830 in the advent of France’s industrial revolution. Generations of craftsmen lessened, making wealthy metals, such as gold, a less desirable material due to the expense. Bronze served as a substitute, giving the assumption of wealth at a lower cost. Today, the clock presents as luxurious and dramatic with glints of bronze flickering against the dark wood backdrop. “Ebonized wood,” says Andrew Ford, owner of Sarasota Trading Company, referring to the chemical process of transforming the wood’s original color into a deep black, masking any evidence of the natural grain. With inlays done by jewelers and designed by freehand engravers, the piece proves as more than a clock but truly a piece of historical art. 

 

PHOTO BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

Shown: French Empire clock, Sarasota Trading Company, 522 South Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-953-7776.