Early 18th century French Cartel by Jacques Cogniet a Paris

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
This came recently, looks to have been untouched for a while which is a good thing, and the movement has not been converted to anchor which I prefer.

The movement is signed Jacques Cogniet a Paris. He was working late 17th-early 18th century. Juré by the corporation 1691-1703. I would estimate a date 1700-1715 on this clock. The style is transitional between Louis XIV and Regency. High quality bronzes. The wood veneer cases are less common than the popular Boulle, I like the contrast it gives. It is a pretty good size at 34 inches.

I plan to give it a good clean and wax. The finish is distressed but I am not going to mess with it. Will clean the mounts with boiling water and dish soap, has worked very well so far but is slow going. After starting to dismantle and clean the crest, I noticed all of the bronzes are stamped with a number 2, including the top Renommée (Nike, Victory, etc) figure. They have some wear but the gilding is mostly intact, giving a nice aged look. The door lock is operational and has an original looking key, first clock I got with a working door lock lol. The trumpet is broken and bent but it still fits.

I am going to dismantle and clean the movement in the next week or so. It is solidly built with a quality verge escapement. The hands are beautifully made, as well as the dial which has retained most of its gilding. There are few nice movement details, including the spring on the fly.

Robert, a fellow member and collector, sourced a Baptismal document for Jean Baptiste son of Jacques Cogniet, dated 8 March 1690. I always find it fascinating to find out more information about these old clockmakers. A human connection to the clocks we find.

A bunch of pics (cant have too many) and some before and afters of the crest are below. Any info or comments are welcome.

Thanks,

Will

20220606_174408.jpg 20220606_200533.jpg 20220606_200641.jpg 20220606_200831.jpg 20220606_201519.jpg 20220606_201741.jpg 20220612_211108.jpg 20220609_164720.jpg 20220609_172744.jpg 20220620_165040.jpg 20220613_002806.jpg 20220620_180320.jpg 20220620_181030.jpg 20220622_152734.jpg 20220622_152740.jpg 20220622_153300.jpg 20220622_153315.jpg 20220622_153341.jpg 20220622_153440.jpg 20220622_153454.jpg 20220622_153704.jpg 20220622_153758.jpg 20220622_155208.jpg 20220606_152441.jpg 20220606_201417.jpg 20220606_164916.jpg 20220620_181519.jpg
 

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
Definitely, I think it shows a passion and pride in the work.

I forgot to add the Baptism document.

Will
 

Attachments

Chris Radano

Registered User
Feb 18, 2004
4,163
455
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
I think cartel has to do with the case form or general shape. If you search French auctions for "cartel" both this type of clock and wall clocks will come up. They are referred to as "poster clock", although that is not a good translation. Will can correct me if I'm wrong, I also don't know much about French clocks either.
 

jmclaugh

Registered User
Jun 1, 2006
5,638
343
83
Devon
Country
Region
I wouldn't have called it a cartel clock but it is a lovely clock regardless.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTD

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
I am pretty sure this clock started life as a wall clock. It would have had a matching base/console, called a cul-de-lampe or even socle. Many examples no longer have their bases and are still referred to as cartels. This is a classic example of a French cartel, although not in the sense most are used to seeing, the term is ubiquitously used in France.

Cartel refers to the case shape which terminates in a point. I did not include a pic of the back which has an iron ring to help affix it to the wall.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Chris Radano

JTD

Registered User
Sep 27, 2005
10,156
1,157
113
Country
Whatever you call it, I call it a very lovely clock which I would be extremely happy to own.

JTD
 

rstl99

Registered User
Oct 31, 2015
1,227
335
83
Ontario, Canada
Country
Region
Lovely old clock and great job on shining up the mounts, Will!
I love the mount at lower front, which seems to me to feature a pair of stylized American Indians (with headdress, quiver of arrows).

The baptism document I was fortunate to dig up for you is essentially a transcription of an original record, made by someone who in the mid nineteenth century, catalogued records about all French "artists" (including "horlogers" or clock-watchmakers). These transcriptions, though incomplete and a bit of a challenge to search, are very useful, especially since many of the source documents (e.g. official baptism records) were destroyed in the fires perpetrated during the brief-lived Commune government in Paris in 1871. The Communards set fire to the building that held all original baptism/marriage/death records for Paris, going back hundreds of years; not only that, they also set fire to another building which held backup copies of those documents, so both official records went up in flames. Parisian authorities and dedicated genealogical enthusiasts have been painstakingly trying to reverse-document these records from other sources, but much will be lost forever. This little side-note may not be of great interest to most of the readers here, but it shows the challenges one faces when trying to flesh out the life of parisian "horlogers" during the past centuries... (one of my horological pastimes).

Robert
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,761
635
113
Australia
Country
Region
MAGNIFICENT.
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,761
635
113
Australia
Country
Region

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
Thanks Robert for the information and compliments. I am always looking for more information on the work and lives of these clockmakers. I find it fascinating.

Ralph, that is a beautiful clock. I love the small size. I've seen quite a few clocks from Cogniet, including two this week. A large cartel and a miniature lantern.
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,761
635
113
Australia
Country
Region
Ralph have you seen the clock in Plomps book by Cogniet?

C7DCDB94-C691-483E-BDD6-AD8CE15B8570.jpeg
 

Ralph

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 22, 2002
5,497
437
83
Country
Ralph have you seen the clock in Plomps book by Cogniet?
Dean,

The only Plomp book I have is the one on Dutch Spring Clocks. Is that picture from his French Clocks book. I just ordered his French Clock book.

For a second, I thought that was my clock.

thanks for posting the pix.

Ralph
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,761
635
113
Australia
Country
Region
Hi Ralph,

The French clock book by Plomp is superb apart from the lack of index. The Dutch book is very poor in comparison. I’d highly recommend it and I use it all the time.
Cheers
Dean
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,761
635
113
Australia
Country
Region
Couple of details from Plomps book. Born 1661 working 1685-93 and died 1731, was Master in 1685. Son of Antoine Cogniet and Father or father-in-law to Jean-Baptiste Cogniet, Josue Panier and Jean Bacquet. He worked in La Cite which is the island in the middle of Paris and Plomp lists 3 known pendule religieuse by him but I've seen plenty more.

And yes I initially thought that clock was yours as well. There is another photographed in the book as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WIngraham

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
Thanks Dean for the details on Cogniet. I just purchased a copy of Plomp's book, not sure why I didn't before. I look forward to reading through it.

To update the clock, I have removed all of the mounts without incident. Lost a few nails in the process but they can be replaced. I found a cheap kit pry kit that came in really handy for removing them. I was really surprised that something so cheap was so helpful. Here is a link, in case others who have difficulty with removing mounts wanted to try something new. The only ones that gave me trouble were the sidelights because I was afraid to break the old glass. Learned that a small vice grip works best for gripping the nails.

Professional Opening Pry Tool Repair Kit with Non-Abrasive Nylon Spudgers and Anti-Static Tweezers, 8 Piece Set - - Amazon.com

So far the door is the only one I have cleaned up aside from the crest. It came out pretty well. I had an issue with verdigris. I tried fresh squeezed lemon juice and it seemed to remove and neutralize it pretty well. I applied it with a toothbrush, along with the soap and hot water. There are still some spots of it but very little compared to what was there (almost complete coverage in spots). Hopefully this helps someone else who comes across the same issue. I test anything new in an inconspicuous area first.

Also was able to completely dismantle the dial and clean and wax it. Was filthy as expected, under some was a crazy green cement. Some of the numerals have damaged prongs which someone took the time to tap. Nice repair.

A few shots of my progress, slow going in my free time:

Will

20220706_185221.jpg 20220706_184812.jpg 20220706_184826.jpg 20220706_184834.jpg 20220706_184931.jpg 20220706_185058.jpg 20220629_200252.jpg 20220629_201034.jpg 20220706_181714.jpg 20220706_181732.jpg 20220706_181748.jpg 20220706_183321.jpg
 

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
Update:

The case is complete! The bronze mounts really are remarkable, they cleaned up pretty well. There are expected areas of wear in the high points. Found quite a few feathers under some and around, guessing from a feather duster. The wood finish is distressed but acceptable to me, so I just cleaned and waxed it.

Movement will have to wait a little while longer since I do not have a let down key large enough.

Anyone know where I can find a let down key for a 6mm arbor? The 14/16 key I have is too small. I need one that works with an Ollie Baker style winder.

Thanks, Will


Pics for those interested:

20220711_160437 1.jpg 20220712_162526.jpg 20220712_162842.jpg 20220712_162856.jpg 20220712_162929.jpg 20220712_163106.jpg 20220712_190714.jpg 20220712_190728.jpg 20220712_190745.jpg
 

Chris Radano

Registered User
Feb 18, 2004
4,163
455
83
Pennsylvania
Country
Region
Great job on a great clock. I see the top figure's horn has sagged from age. I wonder if you can carbon date the feathers. I'm sure from a duster. Unless the clock was a fowl's roosting spot.
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,761
635
113
Australia
Country
Region
Looks fantastic. Great job.

Cheers
Dean
 

WIngraham

NAWCC Member
Apr 19, 2019
263
154
43
35
Country
Region
Thanks for the compliments. The quality of the castings on some of these clocks are really impressive to me. I think the work and skill behind them is extraordinary.

The feathers were funny for a minute, I pictured a French maid going to town with a feather duster. Shows it was a well cared for thing in someone else's home at some point. Another reminder that there were others before us who watched over these clocks we collect and there will be others after us.

It's too bad about the horn. It is broken in about half I think. Can't imagine how. I decided I would probably cause damage trying to straighten it so I left it alone. It will just have to be a quirk.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
175,175
Messages
1,532,122
Members
52,603
Latest member
Jerm346
Encyclopedia Pages
1,063
Total wiki contributions
2,972
Last update
-