Drocourt, Paris: An Unusual Small Campaign Carriage Clock for Alfred Barker, London
Alfred Drocourt, a most unusual miniature leather and silver-bound carriage clock.
The eight-day duration movement has a platform lever escapement and strikes the hours and quarters on two gongs, with the top button allowing for a repeat of both and a lever to the lower edge for Strike/Silent. The backplate is stamped with the trademark for Alfred Drocourt, the initials D.C. above a clock, along with the serial number 27231 and is engraved for the retailer Made in Paris Expressly for Albert Barker, London. The round white enamel dial has black Roman numerals and blued steel spade hands with a further subsidiary dial below for alarm setting.
The small leather-bound gilt-brass case has silver mounts to the corners hallmarked for London 1892 along with the silversmiths’ initials SHB. The typical Drocourt winding key is attached to the inside of the case door.
Albert Barker originally worked for William Thornhill, a supplier of luxury goods whose carriage clocks were supplied by Drocourt of Paris. Barker became a partner in the firm of W.T. Thornhill Ltd in 1875 and was still listed as such in 1885. By 1890 he had set up on his own account as Albert Barker being the first year listed in the London directories, where he is described as a silversmith. He continued the tradition of supplying high-end goods including jewellery, cutlery, writing cases alongside travel items and campaign pieces. The company held various Royal warrants throughout its lifetime and were no longer listed in the 1940 directories.
For details of the Drocourt family use link to Exhibition Catalogues above: Leigh Extence, Drocourt: An Exhibition of Carriage Clocks, November 2014.
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