• Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen auction at Christies

    Sale 7822

    Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen

    9 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 345

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY MONTH-GOING REGULATEUR DE PARQUET WITH YEAR CALENDAR AND EQUATION OF TIME

    BACHELARD, PARIS. CIRCA 1790

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY MONTH-GOING REGULATEUR DE PARQUET WITH YEAR CALENDAR AND EQUATION OF TIME
    BACHELARD, PARIS. CIRCA 1790
    CASE: the detachable pediment with dentil mouldings, glazed rectangular side panels, with raised panels to the front and sides of the plinth, above stepped moulded skirting DIAL: the fine enamel chapter ring with skeletonised centre, the outer edge painted with gilt stars against a royal blue ground and with demi-lune reserves painted en grisaille with zodiac symbols on a duck egg blue ground, all within gilt floral borders, the white enamel time ring showing the months and the date to the outside, with Roman hour chapters and Arabic quarter hours, the centre framed by an ormolu band, with blued steel hands for centre seconds, mean time minutes and calendar, pierced and engraved ormolu hands for hours and solar minutes (the latter with sunburst counterpoise); within an ormolu bezel and under deep convex glass MOVEMENT: with rectangular plates joined by five rear-pinned pillars, dead beat pinwheel escapement with adjustable steel pallets, fine adjustment to two-piece crutch, powered by a lead weight (with counterweight) descending down the backboard behind a false rear panel, wound via a steel arbor through the brass movement bracket positioned on the backboard, this also with knife-edge suspension for the massive nine-rod tapering gridiron pendulum, its upper bracket signed 'Bachelard à Paris', the mid section bracket applied with a white enamel thermometer scale inscribed 'Elementa Suis Propriis Armia Victa' with a blued and polished steel pointer, the brass bob terminating with a blued steel pointer swinging against an enamel calibrated beat scale with blue border and inner gold floral border, inscribed 'Dégrés du Cercle'
    84¼ in. (214 cm.) 23½ in. (60 cm.) wide; 12¼ in (30 cm.) deep


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    Little is known of Bachelard. He is recorded in Rue Montorgueil in Year IX (1800) and working in Paris until 1817. Perhaps surprisingly, Tardy records him as a maker of 'montres a masse', leading to the conclusion that the present regulateur was either his masterpiece or acquired from another workshop as it is a decidedly superior piece of horology. The dial is of the finest quality and bears comparison with the very best of the period, such as those by Coteau, Dubuisson and Merlet, although it is signed neither to front nor reverse. See for comparison the zodiac dial on a table regulator by Cronier signed and dated (1800) by Dubuisson which was sold Christie's London, The Vitale Collection of Highly Important European Clocks, 26 November 1996, lot 279; and another zodiac dial on a regulateur de parquet by Godon in the Spanish Royal Collection also with a dial by Dubuisson (see Derek Roberts, Precision Pendulum Clocks: France, Germany, America and Recent Advancements, Atglen, 2004, p. 86, figs. 30-4).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Christie's New York, The Vitale Collection of Highly Important European Clocks, 30 October 1996, lot 124 ($173,000).


    Literature

    Derek Roberts, Precision Pendulum Clocks: France, Germany, America and Recent Advancements, Atglen, 2004, p. 88, figs. 30-7A-B.