Marcel Jean Richard, Les Brenets, Suisse, Case No. 10568, 55 mm, 158 g, circa 1956
An important, unique, astronomic and extremely fine "Grande Complication" with indications for day, date and month considering the leap year "Perpetual Calendar", moon phase with cobalt blue enamelled moon phase disc and inlaid golden stars and moon, moon age and minute repeater by a Westminster Chime Carillon made for the famous blind organist André Marchal, Paris 1956 Case: 18k gold, polished, gold dome with dedication engraving. Dial: silvered. Movm.: bridge movement, 4 hammers / 4 gongs, gold screw compensation balance.
Marcel Jean Richard was born in 1893 in Le Locle and died in 1986 in Les Brenets in Switzerland. Richard was a descendant of Abraham Jean Richard, the brother of the legendary maker Daniel Jean Richard – who is considered to be the founding father of Swiss watchmaking. Marcel‘s father Edward ran a watchmaking business in Le Locle from 1928 to 1939. The workshop produced a great number of complicated watches which were for example delivered to Breguet in Paris. Marcel Jean Richard taught for a short while at the Ecole d'Horlogerie Le Locle, where he had excelled in his youth because of his exceptional talent. He produced complicated watches with perpetual calendars and moon phases. In 1951 Richard created the four clocks on the walls of the Guebelin house in Lucerne. He also had business relations with Chaumet in Paris. Today some of Richard’s pieces are held by the museum in Le Locle.
André Marchal (1894 - 1980) André Marchal was one of the great initiators of the twentieth-century organ revival in France. Marchal was born blind. Remarkably undaunted by this handicap, he studied the organ under Eugène Gigout at the Paris Conservatoire; and there, in 1913, he won the First Prize in organ-playing. Four years later he also won the prix d'excellence for fugue and counterpoint. As well as giving a good many concerts, both in France and in other countries (England, Australia, the United States), Marchal taught organ at the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles in Paris, in addition to serving as titular organist of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (1915–1945) and Saint-Eustache (1945–1963). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Marchal, as of 02/11/2016.
Westminster Carillon Watches with a carillon minute repeating mechanism are an extremely rare find; there are only very few pieces known today that have Westminster chimes or four hammers. The design was patented as patent no. 11948 on March 20, 1896, by Constant Piguet. The two other makers who were known to have specialized in this type of watch were Eduard JeanRichard and Victorin Piguet and to the best of our knowledge only three tunes were played by the four hammer carillons - Westminster chimes, the Swiss National anthem and God Save the King.
To be absolutely correct, the Westminster chimes should actually be called Cambridge Chimes, because they were first used in 1793 at St. Mary's Church in Cambridge. They were co-written by Rev.Dr. Joseph Jowett and Dr. John Randall and the undergraduate student William Crotch, who would later become the first principal of the Royal Academy of Music. Lord Grimthorpe later used the tune for his great bell (nicknamed "Big Ben") of the clock he designed at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. The chimes are supposedly a variation of a phrase from Handel's Messiah.
Estimate 75,000 - 110,000 €
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