Clock with annular dials

Jean André LepauteCirca 1770

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers

This double-dial clock was intended to be placed on a piece of furniture or a mantelpiece. Its ‘annular dials’ arrangement is original: the hour and minutes are not indicated by hands moving on a circular dial but by the rotation of two rings with the numbers painted on them. The movement is the work of Jean André Lepaute, often mistaken for his brother Jean Baptiste. A brilliant clockmaker, Jean André began working in Paris in 1740, where he was quickly honoured by Louis XV, who granted him lodgings in the Luxembourg Palace. The two brothers became famous for the fabrication of monumental clocks such as those in Les Invalides and Paris’s Hôtel de Ville. This clock, representing the prow of a frigate, is borne by two figures, allegories of the Rhône and the Saône, with the attributes of trade and navigation. Transferred to the Conservatoire after the Universal Exposition in 1855, it formerly graced one of the king’s chambers.

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  • Title: Clock with annular dials
  • Creator: Jean André Lepaute
  • Date: Circa 1770
  • Date Created: Circa 1770
  • Location: France
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Contributor: Author: Lionel Dufaux. English translation: David Wharry
  • Inventory number: Inv. 06582
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/Sylvain Pelly