The tale of Icarus and his spectacular, but ultimately disastrous-but-nobly-disastrous, undertaking was doubtless read by the French of circa 1820, ruled once again by a Bourbon dullard, as a metaphor for the Napoleonic Era, one of extraordinary successes followed by fatal setbacks (ironically, the ultimate nemesis, other than the little Corsican's own hubris, wasn't the sun, but "General Winter" in the 1812 Russian campaign). This extraordinary clock is one of the great achievements of the French clockmakers' and bronziers' art. The bronze is heavy and dense and detailed to an almost fanatical level (note the finely incised sea-serpent feet, or the strap of the wax wings along Icarus's back). A father's love and a father's grief are both affectingly portrayed on this truly magnificent clock. The condition is impeccable and the mechanism operates smoothly and accurately. France, circa 1820. H: 22"/56cm.