A fascinating antique French Industrial Series lighthouse clock automaton No 249 by André Romain Guilmet retailed by Cattermoll London c1870
French Industrial Series lighthouse clock automaton, the duplex escapement with balance simulating a lantern and comprising:
Guilmet serial no. “249” struck into the block base and underside of the cupola. Constructed principally in brass and bronze, the detachable cupola with solar valve set above the gallery on four supports, and a large diameter glass tube enclosing the duplex escapement and balance (lantern), finely pierced gallery, the detailed tower with simulated dressed stonework, winding and setting squares to the rear and having 1¼” diameter clock with enamel dial, roman chapter ring, blued steel pear hands, the upper portion with retailer’s details, “Cattermoll, Importer,” the lower part with the address “538 Oxford Street,” bevelled glass. Movement no. “148” struck into plates and other minor parts, duplex escapement, unusual balance in the form of a cylinder with top and bottom wheels separated by vertically arranged glass tubes. The 8 day movement in carriage clock style, all raised upon a substantial block form plinth.
Visually wonderful, with a mesmeric tick sounding very like a marine chronometer, the balance picks up the light as it oscillates, creating an impression of a real lighthouse. Having been the subject of a complete mechanical overhaul to the highest standard, great care and attention have been given to originality, the exterior retaining its age-formed patina.
A truly scarce item with very few surviving in original condition, produced in very modest numbers and in several different forms, aesthetically this is arguably the most pleasing. The balance, owing to its mass, is particularly vulnerable to damage resulting in broken pivots which may partly account for the rarity. Patinated overall with only traces of original finish; wear, age patination and minor abrasions overall.
In very good working order, a truly beautiful item.
Dimensions: 10¼” high x 3¼” square (at base)
Stock No: CL0304
Price: Vavasseur Archive - not currently for sale