A. Cadot, Place Dauphine.
A rare early 20th century French mystery turtle clock in a gilt-bronze mounted mahogany case with a pewter tray and friction fit hinged bezel.
The mahogany case has canted corners, well-cast gilt-bronze floral mounts, supports the tray above and stands on four gilt-bronze c-scroll feet.
The engraved pewter tray has Roman numerals for the hours, Arabic 15 minute marks and an inner chapter ring showing 5 minute intervals. The glazed silvered hinged bezel is friction fit on the tray. The tray is filled with water and the floating turtle indicates the time.
The eight day time only movement is horizontally mounted, is wound out the top and set out the side, retains the original lever balance platform, carries a split circular magnet, is stamped ‘FRANCE’ and has the trademark stamp of ‘AC’ within an oval.
Cadot was an ingenious maker who was well-known for the square glass dial mystery clocks he produced to confuse those who already knew the secret of Robert-Houdin’s clocks.
The bezel fits particularly well and it is not clear whether it was included from the maker or it was added later. It does reduce evaporation considerably. The water in the tray remained at the same level until we decided to change it after 2 weeks.
12 in. Square
7 in. tall to top of glass.
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