Skeleton Clock Collection, Page One

The skeleton clocks shown exhibit some unusual feature; an interesting mechanical design, rare or complex escapement, mechanism, remontoire or frame design. The following adapted quote nicely sums up my fascination with skeleton clocks and clocks in general where one can see the mechanical movement. "A well made skeleton clock is a joy to behold - an elegant confection of brass and steel, wood, marble and glass, its mechanicals visible inside its crystal case, its clockwork heart ticking away happily as it takes the pulse of the day."1

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Paul Pouvillon, Nogent-sur-Oise, France, 1939. Edward John Dent, London, England, c. 1850. Ferdinand Berthoud, Paris, France, c.1785.
Two train, pinwheel escapement. An extraordinary weight driven astronomical clock of 15 day duration; having over 40 complications. Considered to be the most complicated domestic-sized clock made at the time. Single train, six-legged gravity escapement, 15-second Wagner 'swinging frame' style remontoire. Exhibition piece. Three train pinwheel escapement, gridiron compensated pendulum, 30 second Robin remontoire, full perpetual calendar, epicyclical equation of time, moon's age and phase, quarter strike on solar time.  


Arman Collin-Wagner, Paris, France, 1886. John Bennett, Cheapside, London, England, c.1870. Unknown, French, c. 1780
Single train - jeweled, Graham deadbeat escapement-jeweled movement and pallets, 30-second Wagner 'rocking frame' style remontoire. Three train Graham deadbeat with mercury compensated pendulum. Whittington played on  8 bells.  Exhibition piece. Miniature three train, pinwheel escapement, 30 second Robin remontoire, calendar, gridiron pendulum, quarter-striking on three bells.


Unknown, England, c. 1870. John Smith & Sons, Clerkenwell, London, England, c. 1860's John Smith & Sons, Clerkenwell, London, England, c. 1860's
Three train, gravity escapement w/ jeweled pallets, high tooth, pinion and train counts. (6 wheels going, 5 each in strike trains). Exhibition piece. Three train, Vulliamy deadbeat escapement, quarter strike Cambridge on nine bells, along with 4 tune music box.  Presentation piece. Three train, Graham deadbeat escapement, quarter strike Whittington on eight bells and gong. Presentation piece.

Jean Lepine, Paris, France, c. 1800 Unknown, Paris, France, 1786 Voucez, Paris, 1767 
Marketed in Germany by Heinrich Carl Gropengiesser, Hameln, Germany, 14 day duration, two train hour strike, provenance the Royal House of Hannover.  Single train 14 day duration, tic-tac, one-half second pendulum. Movement with front gilt plate surrounded by three bronze figures of Atlas holding a glass celestial sphere; within the sphere a clockwork-driven orrery with plants to Saturn including working Earth-Moon system.   Three train 14 day duration, half second, beating full seconds on pinwheel escapement. Count wheel quarter strike. Three week duration. Astronomical clock with equation of time, year calendar, day, week, month, season, seasonal time of sun rise/set, moon rise/set and age of moon.

Ferdinand Berthoud, possibly his nephew, Louis Berthoud, Paris, France, 1807 Bosset, Paris, France, c. 1815 Thouverez, Paris, France, 1785, dial signature translated as "Thouverez  clockmaker for his Highness Duke of Orleans.
Two train 30 day duration, pinwheel escapement on back plate, gridiron half second, knife edge pendulum, hour and half hour count wheel strike. Subsidiary dials for moon phase and age, day, date and month. Pierced gilt base decoration. Two train, pinwheel escapement on back plate, gridiron pendulum w. temperature scale, hour & half hour count wheel striking, calendar and subsidiary moon phase and age dial. Pinwheel escapement, one-half second knife-edge pendulum with full second dial reading. Left lower dial indicating date and day of the week and planetary symbol, right dial, month with zodiac sign and seasons. Gilt base frieze depicting putti bacchanal scene.

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1. Winchester, Simon, Krakatoa, The Day the Earth Exploded, USA 2003