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AN EMPIRE MAHOGANY MONTH DURATION LONGCASE REGULATOR WITH EQUATION OF TIME AND YEAR CALENDAR: 'REGULATEUR DE PARQUET'
AN EMPIRE MAHOGANY MONTH DURATION LONGCASE REGULATOR WITH EQUATION OF TIME AND YEAR CALENDAR: 'REGULATEUR DE PARQUET'

BY JEAN-JOSEPH LEPAUTE, HORLOGER DE L'EMPEREUR, THE DIAL BY DUBUISSON, CIRCA 1815

Details
AN EMPIRE MAHOGANY MONTH DURATION LONGCASE REGULATOR WITH EQUATION OF TIME AND YEAR CALENDAR: 'REGULATEUR DE PARQUET'
BY JEAN-JOSEPH LEPAUTE, HORLOGER DE L'EMPEREUR, THE DIAL BY DUBUISSON, CIRCA 1815
CASE: with stepped top and glazed side panels to hood, further glazed panels to front and sides of trunk, with steel door hinges and concealed release catch, above plain plinth DIAL: white enamel within ormolu bezel set within the hood (lacking glass), with outer year calendar, fine pierced and engraved ormolu hour and solar minute hands, blued steel mean minute, seconds hand and date pointer, calendar regulation arbor (faites passer le Quantieme) below VI, the reverse signed 2/580/Dub, also signed D... to front lower edge MOVEMENT: secured with screws and suspension loop on a brass bracket to the backboard, with thick brass plates joined by five back-pinned pillars, the back plate signed J.J. Lepaute à Paris 18/XII + 5, weight-driven with rope wind, inverted dead beat pinwheel escapement, massive spring-suspended nine-rod bimetallic gridiron pendulum with rating below its brass bob, suspended from the front plate and with brass signature plaque for J.J. Lepaute/HORLOGER DE L'EMPEREUR, also with temperature indication shown via blued steel needle against an enamel plaque, and with fine regulation to the crutchpiece, swinging against an enamel beat scale mounted to the lower trunk; brass weight and counterweight, calendar adjustment/door release key
81½ in. (207 cm.) high, 19.14 in. (49 cm.) wide, 11 in. (28 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired from La Pendulerie, Paris.

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Lot Essay

The illustrious Lepaute dynasty of clockmakers began with Jean-André Lepaute, who moved to Paris in 1740. He was joined by his brother Jean-Baptiste and subsequently by their nephews Pierre Henry and Pierre Bazile. In 1795 the latter took over the running of the business and brought in his nephew Jean Joseph (1769-1846, known as Collignon). Jean Joseph became the best known of the family. He set up on his own in 1811. He was appointed clockmaker to Napoleon I, as indicated by the signature on the present clock, and made clocks for the palaces at Fontainebleau, St Cloud and de Compiègne. He moved to rue de Richelieu in 1847 and 247 rue St. Honore in 1821. he was appointed clockmaker to the King and also to the Chamber of Deputies. See D. Roberts, Precision Pendulum Clocks: France, Germany, America and Recent Advancements, Atglen, 2004, p. 21. Roberts illustrates two Lepaute regulateurs of related design (p. 23, figs. 25-6 in particular but also 25-7). The date ring on this clock strongly resembles one on a dial illustrated by Roberts (fig. 25-7B). Similarly crescent-tipped hour hands can be seen on clocks illustrated in figs. 25-5A and 25-6.
Signatures on pendulums are uncommon. For another example, see the regulateur de parquet by Bachelard sold in the Vitale collection, Christie's, New York, 30 October 1996, lot 124. A regulateur de parquet signed Lepaute and inscribed on the backplate Lepaute Paris 10 + 6 was offered for sale Christie's, London, 13 December 2000, lot 78.
A regulateur by Lepaute of very closely related design (with more waisted pediment) was sold on 22 November 1804 for the 'salon des grands dignitaires de l'Empire' at Fontainebleau (Musée national du Chateau de Fontainebleau, Catalogue des collections de mobilier I, Pendule et bronzes d'ameublement entrés sous le Premier Empire, Paris, 1989, pp. 84-85, No. 51). Also an equation clock and described as having an 'échappement repos et à cheville', the movement has been recorded as lost since 1894.
Etienne Gobin, known as Dubuisson (d. circa 1822), watch and clock enameller, worked at Chantilly and Sèvres as a flower painter. He is later recorded in the rue de la Huchette in the 1790s before moving to rue de la Calandre around 1812. Lot 569 in this collection is similarly signed 'Dub' to the reverse of its dial; a further Dubuisson dial may be seen on lot 550.

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