This remarkable cartonnier clock, with its rich amaranth veneers and
finely chased rocaille mounts, once in the collection of the noted
scientist and amateur mechanical expert, Michel-Ferdinand d'Albert, 6th duc de Chaulnes, has a remarkable arrangement of dials, which,
according to Winthrop Edey in his catalogue to the Frick exhibition,
may well be unique. They include the charming feature of an aperture in which the sign appears 'Remontez moi' when the movement requires rewinding.
Its movement is attributed by Augarde to the noted horloger Alexis Magny (1712-1793), a prodigious horolgical talent who at the remarkable age of 22 invented a meridian that was approved by the Academy of Sciences in 1734. A proteg of the duc de Chaulnes, for whom this unuusual clock was probably created, he was later mcanicien attitr to Bonnier de la Mosson.
The duc de Chaulnes, Capitaine des Chevaux Lgers de la Garde, was a distinguished mathematician, member of the Acadmie des Sciences, and of the cultivated inner circle of Madame de Pompadour. His cabinet filled with mechanical instruments, rare natural specimen and astronomical clocks refected his passionate interests for the natural sciences. This passion was also shared by Louis XV and the two met frequently to discuss the progress of the mechanical arts. In 1750, the duc, upon Madame de Pompadour's recommendation, presented the King with an extraordinary astronomical clock which had taken Claude-Simon Passemant and Louis Duthiau almost 20 years to perfect. It is therefore not surprising that the present cartonnier clock, with its finely-executed case and elaborate movement, was once part of de Chaulnes' collection.