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French artisan Jacques Nicolas Pierre Francois Dubuc produced a small number of elegant mantel clocks for export to the American market following George Washington’s death in December 1799. Featuring a nobly posed Washington derived from John Trumbull’s 1792 painting George Washington Before the Battle of Trenton, this clock includes a tableau representing Washington resigning his commission to return to civilian life. This act recalled the virtuous example of Roman general Cincinnatus, affirming the principle of civilian control of the military. Words from Major General Richard Henry Lee’s famous eulogy of Washington appear below the dial: “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Object Details

  • Clock
    Made by Jacques Nicolas Pierre Francois Dubuc
    Paris, France
    1805-1815
    Gilt Brass, Iron, Enamel, Glass
    Museum of the American Revolution
    2003.00.0448a  

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