Le Roy à Paris, 460 mm, circa 1810
A rare Empire mantel clock with half hour/hour strike "Magnanimity of Emperor Napoleon towards the Princess of Hatzfeld"
Case: ormulu, marble. Dial: enamel. Movm.: brass full plate movement, 2 barrels, anchor escapement.
The scene shows an authentic incident after the battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 1806.
On the recent arrest of her husband (who was at the time the governor of Berlin), the Princess Hatzfeld, in a panic and eight-months pregnant, burst into the Emperor's office. Throwing herself at Napoleon's feet, she protested that her husband was not guilty. The Emperor showed her a letter proving the governor's guilt, and the young woman recognised the handwriting. But moved by her tears, Napoleon asked her to burn the letter so that he could no longer pursue her husband.