A whole lotta French!

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by brian fisher, Nov 7, 2018.

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  1. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    A good friend of mine called last week. while catching up, he mentioned that his family was going to move back to France this coming summer. since he knew that my wife and I were into clocks and antiques, he asked if we had any interest in checking out a few items at his mother's house. apparently, she is moving too and will be paring down her collection. well...he is my friend and only lives about 15 minutes away so I said sure, why not? my expectations were REALLY low. I figured she probably had a couple nice pieces here and there, but basically my wife and I assumed it would be a good opportunity to hang out with my buddy but otherwise a waste of time.

    um....I was very wrong.....

    Her husband had collected perhaps 25 to 30 very nice French clocks. Every room in the house had between 2 to 6 clocks. there were a few outliers. none of them were running, but I would assume most were in working condition.

    I only took a couple pics with my cell of the models that I seems to fancy in one way or another.

    the first one below was my favorite of the bunch.

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    sweep second hand?

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    sorry. this one is really bad

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    turns out, this is a time only pinwheel regulator. it appears to be really early. note there are no heavy brass plates in the bird cage.

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    this was another interesting grandfather.

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    I thought the bird cage table clock in this cabinet was really odd, but after looking at it a minute, I have come to the conclusion it is an obvious marriage. I really like the cabinet tho....


    most examples in the collection are table clocks of this type.
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  2. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    mg7ych.jpg

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    both of these bracket clocks seemed to be missing their pendulums.

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    She said that this clock above was probably the oldest in the collection

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    this one was an outlier. seems kind of like Black Forest carving with a French movement.

    there were perhaps 20 more that I did not take photos of. I don't know very much about this genre, but I can say that it was obvious that none of them were crap. they all seemed to be of very good quality and collectibility. the father seemed to have a very good eye for what to buy. I did not have the heart to tell her that they are probably worth a fraction of what her husband had paid for them several years ago. I can say that my wife and I both felt honored to be able to view so many nice pieces in one place.
     
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  3. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    Love the portico clock with perpetual calendar - very nice, but then as you say they all look good
     
  4. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    May I assume from this comment that their asking prices were unrealistic?
     
  5. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    Honestly, there is no asking price as of yet. It sounds like she is only about 80% ready to sell. We will see.
     
  6. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    The top 2 longcase clocks look original so far as I can see. The pinwheel looks about 1850. The other one looks like possibly an 8-day lantern clock. And the portico clock looks very fine, with "complications". The bracket clocks are of Swiss origin. And the mantle clocks look like they could be late 18th c.
    Don't be so sure clocks like these have decreased in monetary value over the years, and don't command higher prices. We had a lengthy discussion here on the message board regarding falling clock prices, I believe these clocks don't necessarily fall into that category. Fine French clocks have overlap appeal to high end decorators, as well as clock collectors. And these look to have fine and interesting movements. If you make offers on any of these, best of luck! They would probably be expensive if sold at an auction.
     
  7. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    That's quite a collection. I really like the first longcase.
     
  8. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    you make some interesting points Chris. I still tend to think the long case with the lantern is a marriage. in the pic of the "movement", you can see there are a couple places on the backer board that have been notched out. they do not match the profile of this clock for whatever reason.

    I honestly know nothing about any of these except perhaps the first tall clock posted, so your comments about value could be hopeful to her.
     
  9. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

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    If the lantern clock is a marriage, I can tell you a lot of French lantern clocks were longcase clocks. The movement is probably early 19th c. These types of French clocks are not well represented on the message board. I think maybe for collectors like us, fine French clocks are too expensive. Thanks to you and the owner for showing us some. Some of them are high end.
     
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  10. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    I guess it was plain to me that these were high end clocks, but it didnt occur to me that they could be fairly valuable. I will probably try to help her sell them for a relatively fair price if it comes to that. If I get the chance to go back over there, I will shoot pics of the rest of them and post up. I really hope it works out that my wife and I may someday own the pinwheel regulator.

    I also agree that we dont see many frenchies around here. It had not occurred to me why.
     
  11. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Do you need someone to follow you around and hold your coat or something, Brian. I would volunteer. You seem to walk into some beautiful opportunities to admire if not acquire some really nice clocks. That "wasp waist" tall case is a beauty. I worked on a couple of really nice Boulle clocks last year for a client. There are some really nice pieces here. One of my clients has a portico very similar to the one you show. Beautiful
     
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  12. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    my buddy's family has just moved to europe, he is to follow in the next week or so. he called to offer a free shotgun since he can't take it with him. since they sold thier home, i met with him at the mom's home. i decided that since she is also going to be moving to follow them in the next year or so, i might take the opportunity to photograph the rest of the clocks in her collection for your viewing pleasure. i suppose it is pretty unlikely to find a collection like this today.

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    this clock came with two of these below. they were just situated on another table in the room.
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    there was a second one of these. i forgot to photograph it.

    ten pic limit. continued.....
     
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  13. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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  14. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Those are some beautiful French clocks, Brian. But don't auction off the kids to buy them :D:D. Step back and take a deep breath!!

    I have to agree about some of the finer French clocks holding their value better. The one I have pictured below are part of a collection I maintain for a customer and although I am not party to the exact price I know both the floor clocks are in the low 5 digit range and the two smaller ones were high 4 digit. Two of the floor clocks are 30 hour rope driven with spring driven strike on a bell and the "Jolly Green Giant" is an 8 day cable with a large bell.

    Living Room Mantel Clock.jpg Lyre Clock.jpg Black French Clock -1.jpg Green Tall Case -1.jpg Red French Clock -2.jpg
     
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  15. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    Now I'm suffering from a serious clock inadequacy complex. Seriously, thanks for the images of these incredible clocks.
     
  16. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #16 Time After Time, Aug 14, 2019 at 4:45 AM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 4:54 AM
    Very nice Brian.
    Thanks for taking the time to share.
    I imagine that as a Pilot, you know folks in the upper social classes. You know, people in pretty high places. :)

    I am reminded of the DuPont Family "Nemours" Estate/Mansion in Wilmington DE. Their Great-Great-Great Grandfather was a Clockmaker in Paris. In honor of him they included a French Clock in many of the rooms of the Mansion. They even had a Musical Hall Clock commissioned for Marie Antoinette. Sadly, she didn't live to see it completed though. It's the first one included below.
    I think that they are all very impressive.

    If you are ever in that area, I think you'll find it worth your time. Especially if you don't mind suffering from a serious money inadequacy complex :chuckling: I think the DuPont family had more wealth than some Nations at the time.
    There was so much to take in, it was really a case of Sensory Overload. I tended to focus on the clocks of course...

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    It's true. We don't see enough French Clocks on the MB.

    Seriously, thanks again.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
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  17. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    #s 1, 2, 6 & 10 are interesting, the others are not quite as unique. I don't aspire to wealth, so no inadequacy there.
     
  18. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    The clock collection was mostly decorative and seemingly incidental to the general decor of the Mansion. A nod to the family history. I suppose that the Antoinette clock, which I thought was the most impressive, "should" really be in a museum. We were sharing French Clocks in this thread and I had some snapshots.

    We actually went for the gardens, (my wife loves to garden) which along with Longwood Gardens are really quite stunning. His Estate also established the Nemours Children's Hospital

    Just something to consider if you're ever in the area. We don't aspire to wealth either, but we do appreciate the art and technology seen everywhere one looks on these properties. The bottom line is, as my Accountant once told me, that the money has to come from somewhere. In the case of the DuPont family, a lot of it initially came from the manufacture of Gun Powder. Make what you will of that fact.

    Regards
     
  19. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    The clock commissioned for Marie Antoinette is probably "priceless" but if it did go on the market I wouldn't even venture a guess. Exponentially above my pay-grade, that much is certain. A relatively small T&S Mantel clock which traces back to the sister of Marie Antoinette recently auctioned for almost six figures: 5 minutes with... An 18th-century clock owned by the sister of Marie-Antoinette | Christie's

    I wish I had taken better photos of the clock but there was a lot of glare off of the glass so my attempts didn't show the intricate musical mechanisms. Percussion and bellows (literally bells and whistles) as I recall. The tour guide said that they were advised by museum conservationist not to operate it, (as they had in the past), but they were considering making a recording for visitors.

    I don't know if we'll ever go back there but it was pretty a stunning to me. The mansion is 47,000 square foot bit of "French Chateau" Inspired Architecture. The clocks ran the gambit, but the ones in the formal areas looked like they belonged there. Some of the clocks which you didn't find particularly unique, mauleg, were located in guest bedrooms I think. It was all a bit too much for me to take in at one time. "A whole lotta French" for sure!
     
  20. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    OK, so this is just a "Little bit of French", so hope it's not off-topic, since we're sharing (ornate; I'll not count the Vedettes) French clocks, here's my sole example; a Japy Freres:

    20181014_210816.jpg 20181014_210841.jpg 20181014_194521.jpg
     
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  21. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    #21 Time After Time, Aug 14, 2019 at 3:36 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 4:01 PM
    Nice. Since it has been partially disassembled in your third picture, Is it safe to assume this clock set is part of your personal collection?
    Here's another clock from the Nemours Estate. I don't know if it is French but the whole Estate is in the French style. This one is located on a water cistern.
    That's a part of the Children's Hospital in the background.

    Water.jpg
     
  22. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    Yes, it is part of my (ever growing) collection.
     
  23. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    thank you everyone for all the contributions. to me, they serve to make this thread better.

    my friend mentioned that he was thinking of asking 4k for the wasp wasted pinwheel regulator. i don't know its value, but i won't be a player at that price.(i could have purchased ralph and jeff's 18th century, 3 train, 7 song, dutch musical tall case for less). assuming that is the sort of expectation, i probably won't have any of these in my collection.(sadly)
     
  24. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    1C5AFA0C-4529-4212-9B10-27CD918C7252.jpeg Since we are doing French...
     
  25. zedric

    zedric Registered User

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    Since we are doing French...

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  26. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    lol. she had a carriage clock sitting on an end table. it had a very unique case design. i was thinking to shoot and post a pic here specifically for you. somehow i forgot to include that one in my phone.
     
  27. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User
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    Well, heck, since we're doing carriage clocks, here are a couple of unmarked early 20th-century examples that I picked up at the 2018 National, purchased as a pair, close, but not matching:

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    They were both in need of some TLC; the one on the left had a big chip out of the dial:
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    Here it is after restoration:
    DSCN1023.jpg

    And a couple more "after" shots just because:

    DSCN1024.jpg DSCN1027.jpg

    Perhaps we might merge this thread with this one?
     
  28. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Nice restoration job mauleg. :thumb:

    I've only worked on a few balance wheel movements so far. One client sent a Crystal Regulator with a balance wheel. That didn't make much sense to me since one big attraction of Crystal Regulators (for me) is the ability to see details of the movement along with the ornate swinging pendulum. A "Carriage" Clock, like yours, with a balance wheel makes much more sense.
     
  29. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Reminds me of a clock I saw with a beautiful ornate brass pendulum. There was no glass in the door, you never saw the pendulum unless you just looked
     

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