Gilles de Beefe à Liége, Height 240 mm, circa 1750
An important Baroque half hour repeating table clock with half hour/hour strike and carillon with two different tunes activating on the half hour Case: brass, firegilt, glazed on four sides. Dial: brass, firegilt, signed, applied silver champlevé chapter ring, silver frets, aperture for mock pendulum. Movm.: rectangular brass full plate movement on three levels, signed, florally engraved, 3 x chain/fusse, 2 hammers/2 bells, verge escapement, steel ring balance. Muscial movement: Released automatically on the half hour or on the hour by the clock followed by the half hour or hour strike, pin barrel, 21 hammers / 6 bells.
The high rectangular case sits on a moulded base with four bun feet and has a pediment. It is elaborately decorated with chasing and volute and acanthus scrolls. The base has a front drawer. The glass doors on front and back are arched with moulded ornamentation at the top. The moulded bell structure on top of the case is curved and pierced on the sides; the carrying handle is decorated with acanthus ornaments. The firegilt brass dial features an applied silver Champlevé chapter ring with Roman hours and Arabic minutes. The gilt centre is lavishly decorated with bird motifs and shows the mock pendulum in a semicircular aperture; above it sits an adjustment scale. The spandrels and the arched opening with the silver chapter ring are decorated with applied silver scrolls. The rectangular full plate movement is allover intricately engraved with fine scrollwork. The carillon has six bells and 21 hammers and is released at the hour via the front plate; after the tune the carillon in turn operates an adjustable cam disc on the back plate which activates the hour strike through a cadrature. With the engraved disc underneath and a small hand, one of two tunes can be selected.
Gille de Beefe (1694-1763), was the descendant of a renowned clockmaking family from Befve-lez-Thimister and a skilled clockmaker and engineer. In 1726 he settled in Liège; in 1733 the King of Portugal commissioned him to build two clocks with carillon for the Palácio Nacional de Mafra and Gille de Beefe also created the bells for the cathedral of Lisbon. After perfecting his clockmaking skills he returned to his homeland, where, on September 28, 1739, he was granted the sole and exclusive right to produce and sell in Liège and the county of Looz, clocks with seconds and minutes without crown wheel. He was given this privilege by his prince, Bishop George Louis Berghes. In 1740 de Beefe was appointed Clockmaker to His Highness the Prince and in 1752 he became clockmaker of Saint-Lambert cathedral. In 1754 he concluded an agreement with the cathedral chapter to build a new clock with carillon and the result was so outstanding that he even received a bonus payment for it.
Estimate 7,000 - 20,000 €
Price Realised 55,800 €
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