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Lot No. 547
Estimate  30,000 - 50,000 €
This is a lot of a former auction!

Auguste Fénon, No. 26, Height 1420 mm

, circa 1890

An extremly rare important precision regulator with grid iron and brass pendulum und electrical contact device

Case: mahogany. Dial: silvered. Movm.: circular brass plate movement, lateral weight driven, Graham escapement with sapphire pallets, pendulum spring suspension.

The pendulum of this remarkable clock is suspended from a 6 cm brass block that is connected to the solid cast-iron movement plate via two suspension springs and a second brass block. The pendulum block has a screwed-on lever that is similar to a Graham lever but with arms that have been ground down to the thickness of the spring and rest on a wide steel plate.
The movement is fully surrounded in brass. The extremely plain case with a large front door is screwed in place and has handles.

Auguste Fénon (1843-1913) was one of the most skilled and famous watchmakers in France. Having trained with Joseph Thaddäus Winnerl (1799-1886), longtime director of the observatory in Paris, Fénon’s speciality were highly accurate clocks and watches such as marine chronometers and precision pendulum clocks. He won a number of awards, among them the prize in the competition for a master clock announced by the city of Paris in 1878 – the clock was supposed to synchronise 20 slave clocks in the arrondissements. When the clock was not commissioned by the city later, it was later given to the observatory and served as master clock together with an instrument created by Winnerl. Another version of the story reports that the disgruntled Fénon gave the clock to the observatory in Besançon. All the directors of the new observatories that were established after 1880 in France knew Fénon and usually ordered his precision pendulum clocks for their institutes. Having succeeded Winnerl as associated clockmaker at the observatory in Paris, he supplied chronometers to the French navy. Fénon strove to constantly improve the accuracy of his pendulum clocks – the clock delivered to the observatory in Marseille in 1884 only showed a rate of drift of a few hundredths of a second after six months.
In the following years Fénon’s clocks were used in many observatories in Europe and South America. At the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889 he received a lifetime achievement award and first prize in the section for clocks and watches and was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honour. At the instigation of L. Gruey , the director of the observatory in Besançon, Fénon was appointed director of the watchmaking school in Besançon and in 1897 became a member of the Bureau des Longitudes in Paris.
Source: Klaus Kölmel: Präzisions-Pendeluhren des Observatoriums Besançon (precision pendulum clocks in the observatory in Besançon), in Klassik Uhren 3/2016
Case: very good
Dial: very good, slightly oxydized
Movm.: very good, capable of running, cleaning recommended

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