Carriage clock by Breguet et Fils


British Museum

British Museum

Abraham Louis Breguet is said to have been the inventor of the carriage clock. Typically, these clocks usually took the form of a metal framed case, glazed on all four sides, and with a carrying handle at the top. For his highest quality carriage clocks, however, Breguet used a case of individual design consisting of a round topped, 'hump-back' case, with silver chains at the top for carrying. The firm of Breguet made these carriage clocks between about 1812 and 1830. This particular example is typical of the style and was made in 1822, at a time when Abraham Louis was working with his son Louis Antoine Breguet. The clock was sold to a Colonel Cook on 7 October 1822 for the sum of FFr4,800.

The silver case has the maker's mark 'L· L' with a fleur-de-lis above and a star below. This is probably the mark of the Parisian silversmith Louis Legay whose business was in Quai de L'Horloge, the same street as Breguet. The spring-driven movement with a lever escapement has a duration of eight days. As well as telling the time, the clock has an alarm and a repeat mechanism, which strikes the half-quarters and the hours. The dial also indicates the age and phase of the moon and has a calendar showing the day of the week, the date, the month and the year. The clock is signed 'Breguet et Fils Hgrs de la Marine Royale No 3629'.

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  • Title: Carriage clock by Breguet et Fils
  • Date Created: 1822/1822
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 15.50cm; Width: 12.10cm; Depth: 6.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1969,0303.3
  • Production place: Made in Paris
  • Producer: Made by Breguet & Fils. Case made by LL
  • Material: silver
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Prestige, C K. Previous owner/ex-collection Prestige, S E. Previous owner/ex-collection Cooke


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