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Constantin Louis Detouche was a very fine watch and clockmaker who had close ties with both Jacques Francois Houdin and Houdin's son-in-law the great Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin.
Detouche is first listed as working in Rue de Venise, Paris, in 1820 then in 1825 he moved to Rue Saint-Martin where it appears he stayed until 1890. Detouche it seems was greatly occupied with combining horology with the obvious benefits that electricity had to offer - as were many inventive horological minds throughout Europe at that time. Earlier in 1841 Alexander Bain (1811-1877), a Scotsman from Edinburgh had taken out his patent for an electric clock - a relatively crude and rudimentary device employing an electro-magnetically driven pendulum. Electric clocks and their development were still in their infancy, they were simple devices and no one had yet to devise a clever way to enhancing the power of electricity to the mechanics of clocks.
Bain's nemesis was Sir Charles Wheatstone, scientist, inventor and accredited as 'the Father of telegraphy (another subject that interested Detouche). Wheatstone was Bain's intial sponsor when Bain first came to London in 1837. Their ensuing arguments as to whether Wheatstone had stolen Bain's plans went on for many years but in 1855 Wheatstone travelled to Paris to the Universal Exhibition and there he saw an amazing electric regulator; he noted that he did not want to leave the exhibition without taking it with him. The extraordinary clock he saw was attributed in Wheatstone's letter to Robert-Houdin, but it could only have been built as a result of close collaboration between Detouche and Robert-Houdin. Their patent of 1856 was made jointly under both of their names. This regulator, Lot 7 is therefore the product of the genius of Robert-Houdin's combined with the wonderful clockmaking skills of Constantin Louis Detouche.