A Magnificent Exhibition Quality Solid Silver and Gilt Quarter Striking 8 Day Carriage Clock with Triple Calendar, Repeat and Alarm.
Case: The exceptionally fine and highly decorative case with solid silver mounts applied to a gilt frame, the canted corners displaying four exquisitely cast and beautifully finished figures, symolic of ASTONOMIE, MECANIQUE, HOROLOGERIE and MATHMATIQUE; each being signed accordingly, having bevel-edged glasses throughout, bordered by a silver rope twist pattern, the hinged front and back doors topped by a male and female mask, the stepped pediment with a platform viewing glass, repeat button and an attractive, symmetrically scrolling handle.
Dial: The dial with an extremely finely engraved and chased gilt mask, having a central, circular white enamel dial with black Roman hour numerals, outer minutes chapter and blued steel Breguet hands, being signed, LE ROY ET FILS PALAIS-ROYAL CIE MONTPENSIER 13 ET 15 PARIS 296 REGENT STREET LONDON, together with three further subsidiary dials for the DAY, DATE/ALARM and MONTH.
Movement: The substantial, 8 day movement sounding the hours and quarters on two bells with a strike/silent option to the base, having well finished brass and steelwork throughout, a Swiss lever platform with gold timing screws to the temperature compensated bi-metallic balance and signed to the edge of the plate, 6364 LEROY & FILLS HORLERS PALAIS-ROYAL 13-15 PARIS, the backplate engraved with indications for winding and handset.
Amongst the tradition of the fine mid-19th century French horology lies a select genre of carriage clocks specially comissioned for international exhibitions, their purpose being to demonstrate the phenomenal skill and artistry of their creators. This piece fits admirably into that category and is comparable to only three other known examples by LeRoy. One, in particular, is known to have been made for London's Great Exhibition of 1851. Further research may well find it and others illustrated in the highly detailed catalogues of that great event. Currently we believe that perhaps 4 such clocks were made, each one being unique in its own right as one has a glass dial whilst another has a moon phase. These last 2 clocks have been sold in the past 30 years (see A Century of Carriage Clocks by Joseph Fanelli) our clock pictured being number 3. We would be very interested to purchase the 4th known example.