Miniature Automaton Lighthouse Clock, c.1900

GBP 8,400.00

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Object Description

The French firm founded by André Romain Guilmet made a series of clocks with industrial and maritime themes between c.1875 and the 1910s. Many of his case designs celebrated the accomplishments of the industrial revolution.

We have in stock two different models of automaton lighthouse clock that he produced, both in exceptional condition. This is the smaller and rarer of the two, of a design used to mark the entrance to a harbour. The larger versions are often constructed to mark shoals and reefs.

The eight-day movement is regulated with a duplex escapement, the balance forming the oscillating lens that reflects light at the top. This glass encased lens is constructed with a number of vertical glass rods which oscillate at speed, giving the effect of a flashing light. Both movement and case are numbered 89.

The case is cast in brass, the silver-plated brickwork tarnished to a soft blue/slate grey and the rings polished and lacquered brass. To the base of the light bars the walkway has an intricate filigree gallery fence. The bi-metallic case is very appealing, and the revolving ‘light lens’ is mesmeric.

The white enamelled dial measures approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, with Roman numerals and original blued steel hands.

Object History

André Romain Philéas Guilmet was an inventor, best known for his mystery clocks in which a female holds her hand outstretched; pivoted on the hand is a clock pendulum which appears to have no impulse. He took out a number of patents between 1853 and 1887, some horological, others not. Some were in conjunction with other inventors, such as the bicycle chain (developed with Edouard Myer in 1868).

He also produced a series of clocks of an industrial nature between c.1875 and the 1910s. This lighthouse is one, others include the steam hammer clock, beam engine automaton, mortar clocks. This model is illustrated on page 257 & 258 of Derek Roberts’ book, Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks. Not all were signed by Guilmet – in fact very many were not.

Guilmet’s industrial clocks are novelty clocks of the highest standard.

Object Condition

To be overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

Monday
9:00 - 17:30
Tuesday
9:00 - 17:30
Wednesday
9:00 - 17:30
Thursday
9:00 - 17:30
Friday
9:00 - 17:30
Saturday
9:00 - 16:00
Sunday
Closed

Dealer Contact

Telephone
+44 (0)1494 763793
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Dealer Location

Chalfont Station Road
Little Chalfont
Buckinghamshire HP7 9PN
United Kingdom