Carriage clock by Nicole Nielsen & Co.


British Museum

British Museum

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the carriage clock already had a long history. In many ways the general quality of this type of clock had deteriorated from the early work of Abraham Louis Breguet in the pioneering years of the first half of the nineteenth century. This masterpiece of clock making, by the renowned firm of Nicole Nielsen, is in stark contrast to the off-the-peg variety commonly available. Adolphe Nicole and Emil Nielsen had the best reputation in the field of high quality clock and watch making. This particular clock is signed 'Nicole Nielsen & Co. 14 Soho Square London no.11558'.

The small silver cased eight-day carriage clock is based on the Breguet's earlier pendule de voyage. It has the usual dials for hours, minutes and seconds but also has two 'up-and-down' dials that show the state of winding. The movement has a lever escapement with a one-minute revolving tourbillon. It also has optional grande sonnerie striking, which strikes the hours and quarters at every quarter, or petite sonnerie striking, which strikes the quarters alone and the hour on the hour. The clock can also be made to repeat the last hour and quarter striking, at the press of a button. There is also a leather protective case in which to carry the clock while travelling.

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  • Title: Carriage clock by Nicole Nielsen & Co.
  • Date Created: 1900/1910
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 16.00cm; Width: 9.50cm; Depth: 6.50cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted
  • Registration number: 1987,1103.1
  • Production place: Made in London
  • Producer: Made by Nicole Nielsen & Co
  • Material: brass; silver; leather
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased through Sotheby's