Carriage clock

Sep 16, 2021. 06:53 UTC
Carriage Clock
United States of America


Acquired from

For sale

Believed to be solid brass


Passed down from generations

Answered within about 6 hours
Sep 16, 13:19 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$1,250 - $1,500 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$1,250 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Angela,
Thank you for sending in this family carriage clock to for an appraisal. Since I have not heard back from you over this weekend, I decided to complete the appraisal of your carriage clock. If you wish to supply any further requested information, I can always alter the wording of the appraisal to make it more accurate in terms of the description of the clock. (I did message you last night, since I had not heard back from you.)
Gilt brass, eight-day time, strike, alarm, with hour repeat on demand function, architectural style, ‘Anglaise Riche’ carriage clock with masked dial, unsigned, made in France, late 19th century, circa 1890-1900.
“Passed down from generations”
CASE: (Size not provided) This is a gilt brass, "Anglaise Riche" architecturally-designed carriage clock case. The case is surmounted by a shaped gilt-brass fluted cylindrical carrying handle attached to the case with ogival shaped hinged brass side pieces. Atop the pediment is a rectangular beveled glass lenticel for viewing the platform escapement (not seen). At the front of the flat, stepped pediment is a push button for the “time on demand function”. The double-stepped brass pediment sits above a frieze of dentil moulding sitting just above the dial door. The gilt brass dial door has beveled glass and attached vertically fluted Corinthian columns. There are Corinthian fluted columns in all four corners with beveled glass on all four sides including the rear door. At the back there is a door with simple pull which provides access to the movement compartment. The case columns are fluted three quarters of the way down towards the base, with the lowest section being solid gilt brass, i.e. without fluting. All rest above the four or five stepped gilt brass base resting on brass square bracket feet. The glass side panels are free of any decoration as is the rear door. {Looking at the base of the clock, it is of interest to note that in earlier years, circa 1830-1860, some of these special and well-constructed cased carriage clocks had a three-position lever in the base for choosing Grand Sonnerie, Petite Sonnerie chiming functions and a silent feature. This is not evident here. In addition, the base panel is shown and has no bell below the oxidized brass plate, which would have suggested a more complicated chiming movement complication. There are some numerals scratched onto the base plate which were added aftermarket, perhaps by a repair person.}
DIAL: There is a gilt metal, rectangular dial plate which is overlaid with a dial mask. The dial mask is also made of gilt metal (? brass) and shaped in a style that suggests drapery and the foliate forms of the Art Nouveau era in France, circa 1880-1910. The edges of the dial mask are knurled or notched. At the top there is a scalloped type of drapery hung from tridents or stylized Fleur-de-Lys and the façade is decorated with flowers and foliate shapes (all indicative of the Art Nouveau era which stressed the beauty of nature). Part of the way down each side there is a single floral form aligned with the three and nine positions on the main dial. Notched coin shaped cutouts decorate the two lower corners of the dial mask.
The main dial is large, round and has a black enameled Roman hour chapter ring with a closed bar minute track to the outside. There is a polychrome colored champleve dial center. The hands are mixed with a steel “Paris”-Spade hour hand (original) and a replaced minute hand which extends beyond the minute track. The hand that should be in place is a simple pointer which usually accompanies the Paris Spade hour hand. What is currently in place is an Art deco era (1920-1940) steel “ Triangle- Opposé ” hand. The dial is unsigned.
The small round dial at the bottom has a 12-hour Arabic chapter ring for setting the alarm time.
MOVEMENT: Rectangular brass plates connected with tubular brass ringed pillars at the corners of the movement plates, two large steel spring going barrels for the going and strike trains, while above is a smaller barrel for the alarm train, balance wheel, lever platform escapement (not shown) most likely with cut bimetallic compensation balance for temperature adjustment, blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator, striking and repeating on a single blued steel coiled gong. There are two hammers present one for the alarm function (on the upper left) which is wound from the upper left-hand side of the back plate, the other is for the striking function. At the base of the rear plate is the arbor for setting the ring time of the alarm, two large arbors for winding the time and strike barrels and one centered arbor for setting the hands of the main dial. There is wording cast into the bottom of the back plate which appears to state, “Made in France”. In 1890 and going forward a law was passed in France (because there was so much copying of French carriage clocks going on in surrounding countries in Europe) making it mandatory to use a phrase such as ‘Made in France’ on all true French timepiece products.
Case – This is a bit of a problem in this particular example with significant loss of the gilt finish from almost all areas of the case leaving a dark metal finish exposed, most likely all is brass but oxidized, the dark color indicating the high content of white metals, such as zinc, in the brass alloy. The repeat button has a brass look from the oils on human skin from pressing the button over the years.
Dial – Replaced minute hand. There is some disruption in the painted Roman X.
Movement – Unsigned, well made, and likely in need of a cleaning.
ANGLAISE RICHE COMPARABLES:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
~ (having a good deal of champleve work this example sold for $5500 in 2020)
~ (Signed by the retailer on the dial, sold in 2015 for $3000)
~ (Signed and Sold in 2019 for $1600)
~ (made for Tiffany & Company, sold in 2018 for $1062)
~ (Signed and reached 2063 in 2018 and was withdrawn)
~ (made for a New York retailer and striking quarterly, sold for $464 in 2019)
~ (signed Drocourt and brought $3000 in 2016 and was withdrawn)
~ (Unsigned, brought $650 in 2018)
The development of the carriage clock in the early 18th century was designed to meet the need for a portable timepiece. The first carriage clock was made very early in the 19th Century by Abraham Louis Breguet - reputedly for Napoleon who wanted a portable clock to take with him on campaign. Initially referred to as “pendule d’officier” or “pendule de voyage”, by 1810, the basic design of the carriage clock was much as we know it today. Breguet's carriage clock cases were either wooden in the empire style, metal in the empire style or hump-backed silver cases. However, the first production carriage clocks did not appear until around 1830.
Prior to this the use of a pendulum mechanism meant that clocks would need to be re-regulated each time they were re-situated, unless kept on a perfectly level surface each time. The bracket and mantel clocks of the time (with pendulum mechanisms) also tended to be larger and heavier - restricting where they could be placed. It was the development of the platform escapement in France that enabled the carriage clock to be truly portable. Popular with French makers, the advantages of the platform escapement meant that the system soon spread to German and English clock makers (although the platforms themselves often came from Switzerland). The golden age of classic carriage clocks was between 1860 and 1900 coinciding with the increased ability to travel comfortably on roads and rail. The majority were produced near Belfort in France (typically unsigned) and mainly exported to England. The lever escapement was first invented in the mid-18th century but was not in common use until the 19th century. Its accuracy together with it being a self-starting escapement (if shaken so that the balance wheel stops, it will automatically start again) made it a popular choice for carriage clock makers.
Your example, in pristine untouched condition, although unsigned, would likely bring a fair market value in today’s marketplace of $3000-$3500. However, the oxidation and wear to the case, all indicating a good deal of use over the years, truly affects the aesthetics of the piece. Add that to the alterations on the dial (much less of a detrimental impact) would cause the fair market price of this piece to drop to $1100-$1400. Retail values would be about twice that amount.
Thank you for choosing for this appraisal. I wish I could have delivered more positive news for you. Two decades ago, in very good condition this same clock you have would easily reached the high four figure range, but such has been the drop in the antique clock market, especially for items with condition issues.
Thank you for choosing for your appraisal.
My best

David Sep 16, 19:39 UTC

Since I have not heard back from you, I will assume you did not see my message, and I will proceed with your appraisal either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Angela bennett Sep 16, 23:33 UTC

Hi Thank you for taking such a close look. I'll need to get the clock from my brother (he's asked me to post) and I will answer your quesitons over this weekend if thats okay.

David Sep 17, 00:33 UTC

Thank you for answering my email. I appreciate the effort and I will put this aside until i hear back from you.

David Sep 18, 20:21 UTC

Hi Angela,
Were you able to get the clock from your brother?
The appraisal is written, and is ready to go out, but I am waiting for any further info from you.

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