THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A DIRECTOIRE MAHOGANY AND EBONISED MONTH-GOING LONGCASE REGULATOR

Details
A DIRECTOIRE MAHOGANY AND EBONISED MONTH-GOING LONGCASE REGULATOR
JANVIER, AU LOUVRE

the white enamel Roman-chaptered dial signed AParis with concentric calendar ring, finely pierced counterposed lyre-and-sunburst ormolu hour and minute hands, blued steel calendar and sweep centre seconds hand, the movement signed on the backplate JANVIER AU LOUVRE, with star-pierced countwheel governing the strike on a gilt bell via a hammer with vertically mounted faceted steel arbor, the high count going train with pin-wheel escapement with fine adjustment to the crutch-piece, nine-rod grid-iron pendulum with steel knife-edge suspension-block mounted on the movement A-frame secured to the backboard, the grid-iron applied with a white enamel temperature plaque calibrated 15-0-15 and inscribed Elemena Suis Propriis Armis Victa, the two trains wound by squares at IIII and VIII with indirect wheelwork planted on the backboard with Hygens rope system and four lead weights sliding down the inside of the backboard, the case with detachable dentilled cornice below a pointed pediment, the glazed trunk with fielded panels, the plinth with rectangular panels, on moulded ebonised base with block feet
80in. (203cm.) high

Lot Essay

Antide Janvier (1751-1835) was born in Briva, France, the son of a farmer. His aptitude for mechanics and science was recognised and at an early age he was sent to the Abbé Tournier. He obviously excelled there for by the age of fifteen he had already made a complicated astronomical clock with mean, solar and sidereal time and incorporating an orrery, an achievement with beyond most competent and experience clockmakers. By the age of of nineteen, the already famous prodigy presented Louis XV with an even more complicated astronomical clock. In 1784, he was appointed clockmaker to Louis XVI and given a workshop in the Louvre. He remained there until 1793 when, after a brief period of imprisonment, he was made commissioner in charge of arms manufacture and was responsible for the conversion of timekeeping into decimalization. With the rise of Napoleon, Janvier's work flourished and he established a clockmaking school. He worked on complicated projects with other great clockmakers including Breguet and Raingo.
Janvier probably used several casemakers. However, it is certain that he patronised the ébéniste F. Schwerdfeger for in an inventory found after the latter's death in 1803 there were eight clock cases made for Janvier for 150 francs
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