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Maker Julien Gourdin, Mayat, France, c. 1840's. 6.5"w x 11"h x 4"d net of base and dome.  A miniature based on the Gourdin company's full sized tower clock designs. Three train with count wheel 'bim-bam' quarter strike and hour on separate bell. Graham deadbeat escapement with depth adjustment. Equipped with a Wagner style swinging frame remontoire with 10 second period. One-half second gridiron pendulum with Elicott compensation system. Five wheels in strike trains, six in going train. One month duration.

Click on the picture to go to a page for more detail. Click here for shots of this movement's restoration.

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One can see the strong resemblance to Gourdin's tower clocks, especially the scan from the company's catalog page from 1826. The train layout, strike levers as well as style and positioning of the count wheels are the same. The design, construction and style of the remontoire is identical in every detail to that described in  It's About Time, Paul M. Chamberlain, page 172 as a Gourdin. The drawing from that citation is below. Gourdin was also the only firm, to my knowledge, that used the unique frame nuts, seen here, that required a special tool for removal. The outstanding feature of this clock is the detail paid to the milling of the movement's super structure. The pillow block bearings are stepped and coved. Pillars are tapered with detail paid to the capitols and bases. The flat bed frame is deeply milled with many articulations along it's surface. Frame parts are made from pink bronze with contrasting yellow brass for the wheel works. The way the bells are nested and hammer arrangement is very much like those found on smaller full sized tower clocks.

Hands are certainly not original and I have yet to see where any dial might have been attached to the movement. However, there is a bit of extra screw thread on the top brace as well as the upper corners of the frame. It's possible a dial was connected with finish nuts to these three points. The location of the motion works look to be original and unaltered. Strange, in that one would expect the dial to be positioned upon the top brace as in their tower clocks. This was never the case here as there would be evidence of a hole through the brace for the lead off arbor to drive the dial for it to have been located in such a manner. Compare this with another miniature tower clock by Wagner. That being a full-weight-driven design.

Flat bed style domestic clocks that roughly resembled the design of a tower clock were quite popular in France in the later 1800's and are known as Portico clocks. However, true miniatures that replicate an actual tower clock in every detail and function, especially when made by an actual tower clock company, are very rare. Provenance: Christie's, London, July 4, 2007 lot# 130.

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                     Loop: Check the LOOP box to better view the remontoire clips.


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