Delépine: A Fine Ottoman Style Mantel Clock
An elaborately cased Ottoman style carriage or mantel clock.
The eight-day duration carriage clock movement has a platform lever escapement and strikes the hours and half-hours on a gong; it is stamped on the backplate with a distinctive hand-setting arrow that gives some idea of the maker, see below, along with the serial number 1285.
The shaped silvered dial is engraved with black Roman numerals with decoration to the centre and filigree mask and has symbolic decorative gilt-brass hands.
The gilded and silvered case is most impressive with floral and bird filigree mounts, engraved panels to the sides and back, shaped feet and a matching cupola to the top surmounted by a crescent moon finial. The underside of the base is stamped with a repeat of the serial number along with the initials GL and number 107, quite possibly those of the casemaker.
Height: 11½ inches (29cms)
Leigh Extence notes: Although unsigned, whoever made this clock was obviously a fine clockmaker and I have had numerous examples with the same markings; the hand-setting directional ‘arrow', the font for Hands and the ‘S/F’ regulation index to the top of the backplate is a finer version of that seen on Couaillet clocks some years later after their purchase of the Delépine-Barrois workshops. Other clocks seen with these attributes include a particular form of bambu cased grande-sonnerie, the bambu case being used mainly by Henri Jacot; and another finely made engraved carriage clock with porcelain panels depicting various Roman scenes. A client of mine has a petite-sonnerie carriage clock with an obvious Jacot/Baveux movement that also has all these markings and is stamped within the plates by the maker Roblin, who was most likely the ‘finisher’ of that particular carriage clock. My research has thrown up strong links between Delépine-Barrois, previously Delépine-Canchy, and Baveux indicating a likely source of this clock. Research into this is on-going and will be updated in the near-future.
Derek Roberts notes: This clock would almost certainly have been made for export to the Ottoman Empire (note the crescent moon on top), but whereas the movement is undoubtedly French the case may well have been made in Turkey where the skill involved in making a case such as this, which is very demanding and highly skilled, would be readily available. A clock requiring a similar level of skill, but with a very different subject matter, 'Gulliver’s Travels' is shown on page 62 of A Century of Fine Carriage Clocks by Joseph Fanelli & Charles Terwilliger and we have had another similar carriage clock titled The Basilisk Clock through our hands; so titled because of the depiction of this mythological beast.