c.1820 Rare French Patinated and Ormolu Automated Windmill Clock.

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c.1820 Rare French Patinated and Ormolu Automated Windmill Clock.
Inv. #: P145

The patinated and ormolu case depicts a classic French barnyard scene with a windmill in the center. It has engraved shingles, a textured roof with a grotesque center finial, bags of grain hanging off pulleys to the side and four patinated and ormolu sails. The numerous decorative figures include a boy descending the stairs, a dog, a mule, chickens, several farmyard implements and a tree. The dog and mule are patinated and have glass eyes commonly found in the blackmoor clocks. The whole stands on a rectangular base with animal feet and a cast freeze depicting a French landscape scene complete with windmills.


The well-lettered white porcelain dial has Roman numerals for the hours, Arabic numbers for the 15 minute marks, Breguet-style hands, is signed ‘a Paris’ and has a decorative bezel with a snap-on beaded edge.


The round eight-day time and strike movement has an elongated back-cock, a brass tear drop pendulum, an early steel suspension, the fast/slow adjusted out the dial and countwheel striking on a bell.

The animation movement is mounted just above the clock movement, has a manual start/stop pull rod, is wound out the back and turns the windmill sails for several hours when activated.


For similar clocks see:
French Clocks by Tardy, Volume 2, Page 297.
La Pendule Francais, Kjellberg, pg. 436. (missing one of the figures)

This clock is interesting because it was not only the predecessor to the industrial clocks of the late 19th century, but also because it has several similarities to the blackamoor clocks popular during this time. The animals are both patinated and have porcelain eyes, the beaded edge of the bezel is force fit and the tree in the background is the same tree found on the ‘America’ version with the construction and casting nearly identical.

Size: 21.5 in. (clock)
Retail Price: SOLD

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