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  1. #1

    Default Japy Freres Marble Mantle Clock

    Here is another "orphan" that no-one else seemed to want at a recent auction. I know very little about French clocks so all information/comments will be very useful.

    Is the case marble, or slate or alabaster or ?
    Should I attempt to replace the badly broken back panel?
    Where can I buy a suitable pendulum?
    Would it have been originally fitted with a coil type gong or a bell?
    Date of manufacture?
    The "chassis" seems to be some sort of hard plaster - would the original base section have also been in this material, which is?

    Thanks in advance for any/all replies.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Front.jpg   Dial.jpg   Back.jpg   Base.jpg   Engraving.jpg  

    Movement1.jpg   Movement2.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Japy Freres Marble Mantle Clock (RE: hugha)

    I have been working on a French slate and marble clock also.
    I'm no expert but I think they used cement to hold the slate in place.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Japy Freres Marble Mantle Clock (RE: hugha)


    I believe I can answer a couple of your questions. The original strike would have been on a gong. There is a hole in the wood base for the gong stand to be bolted through. There is no mounting post on the movement for a bell. I do not think there was a separate base on the clock. Pendulums for French clocks are available at the usual clock supply houses: www.merritts.com and www.timesavers.com are two. I would guess the date as 1880s or 1890s.


  4. #4
    Registered user. jmclaugh's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Japy Freres Marble Mantle Clock (RE: hugha)

    The main body looks slate to me with marble columns and inserts but you can test by rubbing a small section of the case on say the base with abrasive paper and then apply a drop of vinegar to the bare area. Using a magnifying glass check to see if any tiny bubbles form, if so it is marble, if not it is slate. The carcase of these clocks is cement veneered with slate/marble and often reinforced with metal rods bolted through the top and botom sections with either hollow or solid slate/marble sections. Generally the back of these cases were not meant to be seen so were not polished, if sound I would leave as is though you could repair with an epoxy resin.

    I can't quite make out the Japy stamp on the backplate but it appears according to Thorpe in his book The French Marble Clock to be either Grand Prix d'Honneur awarded 1879 or Grande Diplome d'Honneur awarded 1879 & 1880. It is also stamped with JJS in an oval which may be the clockmaker who finished a roulant supplied by Japy or a retailer. The pendulum length you need is 6 inches and as Jeremy says gong strike. The cutaway section of the wooden base suggests the pendulum protrudes through it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Japy Freres Marble Mantle Clock (RE: hugha)

    Thank you for all of the great advice and information. It seems that I have acquired a really nice old clock and my wife (who actually prompted me to buy it) has suggested it would look good on our lounge mantle-piece - the ultimate seal of approval!


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