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French 'Comptoise' weight driven eight day wall clock with brass surround and centre sweep calendar c1870.

A nice example of one of these French 'Clock Vendor' sold clocks.

Stock No:   14007

The eight day duration, two train weight driven movement with Verge escapement and gravity, vertical rack and 'Vineyard' double striking on a large bell mounted on top of the covering box behind the dial arch. Wound by its original, steel crank key.

Behind a circular, bowed white enamel, 8" dial with black Roman numerals, minute ring and inner ring bordering Arabic numerals indicating the calendar date. Also having pierced, polished brass matching hands and a further, 'Spear end' polished brass calendar hand. The dial has a pressed gilt brass shim surround of ornate design depicting the baby Jesus and Mary in the arch. The usual tin style movement covering houses the posted movement made from high quality brass and steel and the cord, front mounted pendulum suspension. The original folding pendulum with large brass faced bob hangs from just beneath the dial at the front and the cord for the two faceted cast iron weights passes through the bottom movement plate.

* These clocks are known as either 'Comptoise' or 'Morbier' clocks because those are the areas that they were made in. They were made specifically to be mounted, four at a time, on a back pack - two the right way up and two upside down. There was also room on the back pack to carry four pairs of weights and four folding pendulums. They were then carried across country, over Alps and into valleys to be sold at remote towns and villages. Sometimes the owners would later commission the local casket maker or joiner to fashion them a long case to mount the clocks in rather than just have them hanging on the wall leaving the pendulum vulnerable. These clocks generally did not last in good condition aesthetically because of the delicacy of the surround, thin enamel dial and pendulum however, the quality of the materials making up the movement could not be improved upon, they were designed to run for years with little or no maintenance except for oiling and the replacement of the 'string' that carried the weights and the pendulum. Sometimes these clocks have a very ornate multi-rodded massive pendulum - these were almost invariably bought at a later date to improve the appearance of the clock.

** These clocks have 'Vineyard' striking whereby they strike the hours on the hour or a minute before and then again two to three minutes later as a reminder. It is not known exactly why this was used, one general consensus is that it was because the French were lazy and needed constant reminding!

*** This example is in extraordinary condition! It is also unusual to have calendar work to the dial. The dial and surround to this clock are practically mint. It is nice to see the verge escapement working and is a relatively early feature. It is also extremely rare to have an original winding crank.

Dimensions:                  15 1/2" high x 9 1/2" wide x 5 1/2" deep.

Circa:                             1860.

Condition:                      Practically mint.

Price:                             £2,000.00.

Investment forecast:      5  (please refer to our 'Buying For Investment' page for explanation).

French Comptoise or Morbier striking wall clock with calendar to the dial.
  • French Comptoise or Morbier striking wall clock with calendar to the dial.
  • French Comptoise or Morbier striking wall clock with calendar to the dial.
  • French Comptoise or Morbier striking wall clock with calendar to the dial.
  • French Comptoise or Morbier striking wall clock with calendar to the dial.
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