Henry Capt à Genève, Movement No. 4227, Height 200 mm, circa 1880
A very fine, important and rare "Grande et Petite Sonnerie", eight-day duration, five-gong, quarter repeating and quarter striking carriage clock with alarm and Westminster Chime Carillon - Only about ten carriage clocks with Westminster Chimes are known, three retailed by Capt Case: gilt bronze, matted and high polish gilt, "Anglaise" case, moulded base and cornice with dentil pattern, rectangular base, facet glazed on all sides and the top, handle with fluted middle part, disc feet, button for repeating mechanism, lever for choosing between Grande or Petite Sonnerie and Silence. Dial: enamel, eccentric hour indicator with Roman numerals, subsidiary chapter ring with Arabic numerals for alarm, signed, blued spade hands. Movm.: rectangular brass full plate movement, signed, gilt, keywind, 6 hammers / 5 gongs, solid circular movement pillars, 3 barrels for going train, striking train and alarm, platform with English lever escapement, gold screw compensation balance.
Westminster Chimes play a 20-chime sequence, on four gongs, with hours struck on their own gong. It is based on a complicated mechanism, believed to have been originally invented by someone with initials AB, which are found punched inside the back plate on all Westminster Chimes carriage clocks known. It has been speculated that either Alfred Baveux or the company of Achille Brocot is behind the mysterious A.B. The last carriage clock with Westminster Chimes on the market (without an alarm) was sold by Sothebys London on September 29, 2005, lot 69, for £17,400 (EUR 22.200).
The original Westminster Chimes were implemented by Lord Grimthorpe in the Big Ben clock at the tower of the Westminster Palace. The tune was composed and presumably written by William Crotch in 1780; it was based on Handels Messiah.
The house of Henry Capt was founded in Geneva in 1822 and flourished for many decades. Established by the famed Henri-Daniel Capt, the firm was taken over by his son, Henri Capt, in 1844. A shop was opened on the Rue du Rhône in 1855 which became quickly famous. During the 1870s, the Henry Capt company advertised that they were the only Geneva watch manufacturer to have a branch retail house in London. Branches were also established in Paris, Nice and New York.
Estimate 16,000 - 20,000 €
Price Realised 23,100 €
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