c.1855 Exceptional Diminutive French Calendar Carriage Clock by Bourdin.

Collections > Sold
c.1855 Exceptional Diminutive French Calendar Carriage Clock by Bourdin.
Inv. #: f262

Bourdin a Paris

Holingue Freres


A mid-19th century diminutive engraved ormolu carriage clock that has exceptional porcelain panels and a superb movement with a simple calendar, alarm and seconds bit.


The ormolu case has crisp molded edges, a ‘Bourdin’ style handle and is elaborately engraved with detailed scrolling foliage and assorted decorative elements throughout. The detailed polychrome panels are set into raised engraved frames and have gilt borders. They depict maidens to the sides, frolicking cherubs above and floral motifs on the dial. The back door has shuttered apertures to access the arbors off the backplate and is elaborately engraved with French indications and signed ‘Bourdin, Hger Breveté, Rue de la Paix, 28 PARIS’.


The porcelain dial has elaborate gilt-work on a blue and white ground and a detailed decorative garland to the center. It has black Roman numerals for the hours, a seconds bit and three sub-dials that include the day, date and an alarm. Delicate steel-cut hands are throughout and it is signed by the maker ‘Bourdin a Paris’.


The high-quality 8-day time, strike, repeat and alarm movement has double screwed cocks to the front and back, screws to both ends of the pillars, strikes on a bell, has simple calendar features that show day/date, is wound, adjusted for f/s and set off the backplate and has all the indications beautifully engraved in French. The outstanding balance platform is mounted horizontally above and has a straight line lever escapement with delicate polished arms. The movement is stamped ‘285’ on the front and back plates, ‘H.L’. on the front plate and ‘7444’ hidden between the plates.


All the porcelain panels are sighed ‘Bourdin, 5023’ with their orientation noted in French.


The side panels most likely depict two of the major continents, Europe and Asia.


H.L. stands for Holingue Freres who produced high quality movements for several high end carriage clock makers including Bourdin. They are most notably connected to Drocourt, but this piece would have been well before that union and during the earlier days of the company.


There were very few carriage clocks that combined a porcelain dial with a seconds bit.


This clock was sold at Antiquorum where they called it a ‘Ladies’ presumably because of its slightly reduced size.

Antiquorum, Geneva, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Du Rhône, May 13, 2007, Lot.175.

Size: Height: 5 3/8 in.
Retail Price: sold

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