watches : Some Jaquet-Droz watches, pre SWATCH : Eight-Tune Triple-Mechanism Musical Clock Pierre Jaquet Droz, a la Chaux-de-Fonds. Made circa 1770.1

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The Empress Josephine Singing Bird Box by Les Freres Rochat.1

Venus & Cupid Clockwatch Jaquet Droz, London. 1


A magnificent and extremely fine and rare, Louis XV, mahogany and ormolu, 8-day going, hour and quarter-striking on two bells, musical bracket clock with two pipe organs and a cylinder musical mechanism playing on eleven bells with nineteen hammers, playing a selection of eight tunes with sequential consecutive movements on the hour or at will.
C. Waisted form veneered with mahogany, rococo gilt bronze scroll and rocaille mounts, scroll and flower finial, foliate scroll feet, sides with pierced brass grilles, the gilt bronze door cast with foliate decoration at the edge and at the lower edge three-dimensional figures of a lady and two putti, the lady playing a harpsichord and the putti playing the viola and violin. D. White enamel, convex, bold radial Roman numerals, outer minute track, outermost Arabic five-minute numerals, dial mask applied with fine gilt bronze foliate and floral mounts, white enamel tune selection dial for the large organ at the lower left, tune selection and damper levers for the musical bells. Fine pierced and engraved gilt brass hands. M. 27 x 10 cm., horizontally rectangular, brass plates, four pillars, massive fusee and gut for the going train, fusee and chain for the striking train, verge escapement, steel rod pendulum with circular brass bob, striking the hours and quarters on two bells with two hammers, rods and levers for hourly musical activation on the backplate. Musical bell movement: rectangular brass plates, massive fusee and chain, fly governor, 16 cm pinned brass cylinder, playing a selection of eight tunes on eleven bells with nineteen hammers. Large organ movement: driven by two massive fusees with gut lines, mounted between plates above the organ adjacent to the musical bell movement, winding in unison, brass fly governor with adjustable wings, 30 x 16 cm., organ below the musical bell movement, with brass plates, large pinned wooden cylinder playing 14 pipes. Small organ movement: mounted in the cresting of the clock, two massive fusees with chains mounted in separate plates behind the organ, winding in unison, brass fly governor with adjustable wings, organ with brass casing, pinned wooden cylinder playing 9 small pipes. Movement signed. Dim. 123 x 65 x 29 cm.
Very few clocks by Jaquet Droz with organs exist, this clock is exceptional because it has not only one, but two organs and a musical bell movement making it extremely rare and possibly unique. The clock is exceptionally well-made, the double barrel and double fusee arrangement for each of the the musical movements assuring long duration. On the hour the clock strikes the hours and then the musical bells activate, immediately after the bells finish the organs are then activated, the lower organ with a deeper tone, the upper small organ with a more high-pitched tune. The heavy, compacted brass movement is typical of Jaquet-Droz, the case is also exceptionally well made. During this period Jaquet-Droz was the only maker in Switzerland producing complicated musical clocks.
29-03-2009 Sold including buyer's premium: 126,000 CHF

The Empress Josephine Singing Bird Box by Les Freres Rochat.1

Venus & Cupid Clockwatch Jaquet Droz, London. 1


Sources:

  1. Antiquorum, via search engine http://www.antiquorum.com
  2. eBay #8932147486 sold on 05-08-06 for £41, http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8932147486
  3. For Sale add on thePurists on 05-12-2006, sold for $975. http://www.thepurists.com
  4. Personal collection of cme2c (Jeff Geisert), offered for sale on http://www.timezone.com for $2900 on 06-17-2006
  5. Personal collection of Larry Seiden
  6. The European Watch Company in Boston

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