An exquisite polychrome painted bell-striking clock dating from the 1860s, and made by H.L., the French maker who supplied the blanc roulants to a number of clock-makers including Drocourt, LeRoy and Bolviller.
The three-quarter sized gilt gorge-style case is engraved with a matted finish, and painted with blue and green ribbons, swags and tails on a pink ground. It has a ripple handle with white enamel dotted decoration matching the uprights. The dial mask and back door are similarly decorated, the back door having shuttered apertures for setting the hands and winding both trains. The combination of the smaller than average size, and the colours and intricacy of the decoration make this one of the prettiest carriage clocks I have come across.
Serial number 5760 is stamped on the movement and multiple case parts, and clock number 12668 is stamped between the plates. The front plate is further stamped HL, and the movement has all the other identifying features of these early HL movements, prior to Drocourt taking over the workshops. The wheels all have curved crossings, the backplate has SLOW & FAST stamped in longhand; the lower pillars are attached to the base by way of a single screw each.
The movement retains its original silvered silvered lever platform with an angled two-part bridge, numbered FR P 6992.
It strikes the hours and the passing of the half hour on a bell, with a crisp clear tone. It also has a repeat button.
Leigh Extence has carried out some excellent research into Drocourt’s work, and has published an informative catalogue which can be seen here: http://www.extence.co.uk/index_htm_files/Drocourt%20Catalogue%202014.pdf
Consider the similarities of this movement with HL serial numbers 5206, and 6115 on pages 26 and 27. At this stage HL were suppliers to a number of clockmakers of repute. It was very soon after this time that Drocourt took over the H.L. workshops, adopting their serial numbers system and continuing it as their own.