Janvier au Louvre, Paris, No. 321, 330 x 190 x 180 mm, circa 1801
An important mantel clock with half hour and hour strike, calendar and Réaumur thermometer, in the shape of Janvier's famous audience clocks. The calendar is moved forward at midnight by the striking mechanism. Case: mahogany, rectangular, protruding base on four bun feet with two gilded three-dimentional bronze lions; between them a rectangular cutout showing the round temperature display. Above is the round hour dial with gilded and chased bezel; rectangular cornice plate. Back with removable plate protecting the movement. Dial: silvered chapter ring with inlaid radial Roman numerals, matte gilt centre with engraved signature "Janvier au Louvre, N. 321", white enamel subsidiary dial with outer date and inner weekday indicators at "12", blued Breguet hands. Thermometer dial: matt gilt, rectangular plate with two applied silvered sectors for two Réaumur scales from -10 to +30; in the centre on the left side engraving "Composé par Janvier" and on the right side "Glace - Tempéré - Chaud", blued single hand. Movm.: circular brass full plate movement, signed, 2 barrels, circular pillars, anchor escapement, short silk suspended pendulum, steel pendulum rod with brass bob. Réaumur thermometer: bimetallic steel and brass lever acting on a pivoted steel lever to which the hand is fixed.
Illustrated and described in: Michel Hayard: "Antide Janvier 1751-1835. Horloger des étoiles / Celestial clockmaker", L'image du Temps, 2011, p. 208f.
Antide Janvier was born in Briva on July 1, 1751. He learned his craft from his father Claude Étienne Janvier, who recognized his son’s talent early and encouraged him. Antide studied Latin, Greek, Maths and Astronomy with a local abbot and in 1766, at the age of 15, designed and constructed an armillary sphere (a solar system model), which he presented at the Academy of Sciences in Besançon. The model won him much recognition and on May 24, 1768 he received a letter of appreciation from the academy. Janvier quickly gained an excellent reputation as a maker of complicated and difficult clocks of superior quality, including many pendulum clocks, globes, astronomical clocks, spheres and planetaria. In 1783 he created two spheres for King Louis XVI and was also clockmaker to his brother, later King Louis XVIII. During the time of the French Revolution Janvier spend quite some time in prison because of these royal connections; afterwards he had severe financial problems because lot of his work had not been paid for. Between 1789 and 1801 Janvier produced one of his best pieces - a clock that operated an armillary sphere. Janvier also produced clocks for Abraham-Louis Breguet, which Breguet sold under his own name. In 1802, during the time of the Consulate, Janvier opened a clockmaking school. He was appointed clockmaker to King Louis XVIII and won a goldmedal at the exhibition in 1823. In 1825 he was invested into the Legion of Honour or at least nominated as a knight. Antide Janvier died in Paris in the Hôspital Cochin on September 23, 1835 at the age of 84, destitute and forgotten by his peers. His death certificate said "Antide Janvier, stateless" and "cause of death: old age". Today we know just how exceptional a clockmaker Antide Janvier was; the towns of Besançon and Saint-Claude have named streets after him in his honour. The largest collection of his masterpieces that can be viewed by the public is in the Musée Paul-Dupuy in Toulouse.
Estimate 50,000 - 65,000 €
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