The word « cartel » is derived from the Italian word « cartello » which means poster. The first decorative clocks – cartels- came into existence during Louis XIV reign. At the time the clocks were placed on a wall stand. The famous “Cartels aux harpies” by Charles André Boulle were a huge royal success, and all the clock factories all over Europe started creating cartels. Under the reign of Louis XV cartels developed into the ultimate clock in Parisian households. The wall stand tended to disappear and some clocks were now directly hung on the wall. Cartels can be glazed with “Vernis Martin” (a kind of French lacquer technique), painted, lacquered or entirely bronze. The embellishments are often mythological references related to the period or the sponsor. At the end of 18th century cartels were out of fashion, replaced by wall clocks. During the Second Empire the cartels came back into fashion in Paris. Copies of Louis XIV, Regence, Louis XV, neo gothic and antique styles were created. In the 20th century, cartels have vanished, replaced by by-products: wall clocks.