A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm,
Lot 81
An exceptional and historically important early 19th century French ormolu automata clock with eight enamel dials by Joseph Coteau including full Republican and Gregorian calendars, age- and phase- of the moon, time of sunrise and sunset, equation of time, world time and signs of the Zodiac. Almost certainly made for the 'Seconde exposition publique des produits de l'industrie francaise' held in the courtyard of the Louvre from the 19th to the 25th September 1801. Conceived and made by Francois-Joseph Hartmann, Paris. The dials decorated by Joseph Coteau
Sold for £322,400 (US$ 542,912) inc. premium
Auction Details
An exceptional early 19th century French ormolu automata mantel clock with special centre seconds escapement and eight enamel dials by Joseph Coteau including full Republican and Gregorian calendars, age and phase of the moon, time of sunrise and sunset, world time and Zodiac.  Almost certainly made for the second Napoleonic LKJASD;KJFDSF DS held in the courtyard of the Louvre in September 1801. Hartmann, Invenit Fecit, a Paris.  The dials by Joseph Coteau An exceptional early 19th century French ormolu automata mantel clock with special centre seconds escapement and eight enamel dials by Joseph Coteau including full Republican and Gregorian calendars, age and phase of the moon, time of sunrise and sunset, world time and Zodiac.  Almost certainly made for the second Napoleonic LKJASD;KJFDSF DS held in the courtyard of the Louvre in September 1801. Hartmann, Invenit Fecit, a Paris.  The dials by Joseph Coteau An exceptional early 19th century French ormolu automata mantel clock with special centre seconds escapement and eight enamel dials by Joseph Coteau including full Republican and Gregorian calendars, age and phase of the moon, time of sunrise and sunset, world time and Zodiac.  Almost certainly made for the second Napoleonic LKJASD;KJFDSF DS held in the courtyard of the Louvre in September 1801. Hartmann, Invenit Fecit, a Paris.  The dials by Joseph Coteau A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm, A very fine mid XIX Century French mantle clock and regulator, by HARTMANN, height 110 x 70cm,
Lot Details
An exceptional and historically important early 19th century French ormolu automata clock with eight enamel dials by Joseph Coteau including full Republican and Gregorian calendars, age- and phase- of the moon, time of sunrise and sunset, equation of time, world time and signs of the Zodiac. Almost certainly made for the 'Seconde exposition publique des produits de l'industrie francaise' held in the courtyard of the Louvre from the 19th to the 25th September 1801.
Conceived and made by Francois-Joseph Hartmann, Paris. The dials decorated by Joseph Coteau
The case
Surmounted by the ormolu figure of Victory blowing a trumpet over a series of eight dials interspersed by draped fruit and foliage, on a pair of pedestals, flanked by a pair of columns 44cms (17.25 inches) in height and constructed of two pierced spirally twisted columns set around a giltwood core and terminating in a pair of matching spheres with bud finials. The columns driven by a movement set in the base of the clock and each column contra-rotating on depression of a vertical lever mounted in the ormolu base of the clock; simultaneously, the pushing of the lever brings into play a central highly polished steel 'whirlygig' with circular mirrored glass background and, just below this, a twin-headed fountain with winged leopards heads mounted with spirally twisted steel rods to mimic the effect of water running into an ormolu trough below. All mounted on a bow-ended base with beaded decoration over a pair of reeded ends, martial trophy panels and a central panel of a repeating cast foliate pattern, on six shaped feet. The central panel is sprung, and on pulling a lever in the base, this panel hinges forward to reveal the spring-barrel movement for the automata work.

The dials
The main dial measuring 13.5cms (5 3/8ths of an inch) in diameter and decorated with twelve polychrome reserves depicting signs of the Zodiac in gilt and jewelled borders. The Zodiac ring encompassing an annual Gregorian date ring, the minute ring comprising of gilt dots and Arabic five minute numerals, the Roman hours and an inner quarter hour track. Set with five hands; a blued steel calendar hand with an eccentric moon tip denoting the date, a blued steel centre seconds hand, a gilt and engraved brass hour hand, a gilt and engraved brass minute hand for solar time and a pierced blued steel hand for mean time. The open centre showing the wheels of five-star crossings.
The three uppermost dials give the Republican calendar including season (Printems, Ete, Automne and Hiver) and month (Germinal, Floreal, Prairal, Messidor, Thermidor, Fructidor, Vendemiaire, Brumaire, Frimaire, Nivose, Pluviose, Ventose), over day of the week (Primidi, Duodi, Tridi, Quartidi, Quintidi, Sextidi, Septidi, Octidi, Nonidi and Decadi) and date of the month (1-30). Just below the main dial is the signature plaque, signed in a flowing gilt copperplate script and decorated to each corner with a silvered boss; flanked to the left by the moon dial. The moon dial is entitled 'Croissan Decroissant de la Lune' and is decorated with gilt scrolls, the moon's surface depicted with it's peaks and troughs and traversing a deep blue night-sky set with 103 gilt stars. Opposite the moon dial sits the dial for time of sunrise and sunset, entitled 'Lever et Coucher du Soleil'. The gilt sun set against a sky blue dial and an outer Roman hour scale from IIII to XII and back to VIII, centred by a globe depicting the North and South Poles, Europe, Africa and Australia (known as New Holland until 1824), with lines of latitude and longitude clearly marked, the enamelled shutters coloured from yellow to pink at their tips to indicate the time of the sunrise and sunset.
The lower left hand dial shows an outer scale of 1-30 enclosing the days and signs of the planet of the day.
The lower right hand dial is encompassed by a twice I-XII scale and is marked with 53 places around the world including San Salvador, Quebec, Mexico, Pekin, Siam, Goa, Bagdad, Moskou, Constantinople and Rome (sic). The main time dial is signed 'Coteau' below the VI o'clock position; most of the others are signed on the rear and several are also dated 'an 8'. Given that the Republican calendar was established in 1793, the eigth year was 1801 - the year of the second exposition.

The movement
The movement consists of a near-circular backplate six inches in diameter carrying the two main spring barrels with off-set winding, the countwheel and escapement are also both set to the backplate. The outside countwheel with elaborate star wheel crossings. The escapement is a unique variant of a pin-wheel type; its action is such that the pendulum remains free from the escape wheel for most of its travel, receiving impulse on only one side. Both impulse pallet and locking detent are constructed of highly polished facetted steel, for exhibition purposes. This ingenious escapement beats dead centre seconds on the dial with the half second bimetallic pendulum mounted on a knife edge suspension and set with micrometer regulation to the crutch, terminating in a heavy brass bob.


The frontplate of the movement is of substantial brass casting and stamped twice with an HM monogram (presumably for Hartmann?). Following the outline of the dials, the frontplate carries the intricate motionwork necessary to drive each of the dials, it also supports the vertical arbor with universal joints to the polished steel whirlygig and the twin fountains.

The automata columns are powered by a separate movement mounted in the base of the clock; the heavy brass plates carry a spring driven movement wound from the right hand side via a bevelled gear - a hole in the glazed cover allows for this when the cover is in situ. The automata movement is activated once an hour, or at will.

The baseboard
This is veneered with mahogany on a substantial oak carcass, it is flat fronted and bow-ended and sits on squat ball feet. It is set to the underside with well-made facetted steel shaft that would originally have set the automata work to play by pulling it outward - the handle end is now missing but the working end retains its facetted, sprung shaft and cone terminal that would have pushed the lever up into the base to actuate the columns, whirlygig and fountain.

The glass dome
This is constructed of thirteen glazed sections set together in a panelled construction. An elaborate gilt brass urn finial sits on a brass plate at the apex. Two holes cut into the front and one to the right hand side allow for winding of the going train, the striking train and the automata train. A cut recess on the baseboard has been widened to accept the unusual shape of the glass cover and it is most likely that this is not the original dome for the clock. That said, its method of construction and the attributes of the glass panels indicate that it was made in the first half of the 19th century. The clock 75cms (29.5ins) to Victory's trumpet. To the top of the glazed case finial, including the mahogany baseboard, 99cms (39ins) high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: A European noble family.

    This exceptional French clock was discovered in a European town palace. It has been stored by the family for at least 100 years for fear of it being damaged. The image on page 45 shows where it has been kept for most of this time, hidden in a cupboard set into the panelling of an un-used ballroom. The current members of the family cannot say exactly when the clock came into the Palace. It is thought that when the son of a French General married into the family in the mid 19th century, he may have brought the clock with him, but there is no documentary evidence to support this. The son of a General, it is not inconceivable that his father served under Napoleon in the early 19th century and this may be relevant as far as the Napoleonic exposition is concerned. It is recorded that Napoleon visited the exposition. Did he or one of his retinue purchase the clock?

    Alternatively, it may have been purchased some time later in the 19th century - the family were commercially very successful and may well have toured the antique shops of Paris to furnish their various residences.

    Through notarial documents, we learn that on vendémiaire 27, an II (October 18th, 1793), Francoise-Joseph Hartmann rented an apartment including a shop located at the corner of the rue des Viarmes (surrounding the recently built Halle aux blés by the architect Le Camus de Mézières) for six and a half years. He was then married to Marie-Louise Guitarde (Paris, Archives nationales, minutier central, IX, 843). Before 1814, Hartmann has settled on the rue Saint-Eustache (n° 54). On July 23, 1814, he purchased a residence named the hôtel d'Italie, located in the same street, together with its furniture, for a total price of 9500 francs (Paris, Archives nationales, minutier central, IV, 1033). He signed his own name both "Hartmann" and "Hartemann".

    Hartmann participated in the Seconde exposition publique des produits de l'Industrie française in 1801, which took place in the 'grande cour du Louvre'. His clock was recorded among the objects that were presented in the 63th 'portique' (there were 104 portiques or booths in total) HARTMANN, horloger, rue de Vannes, n° 9, à Paris : Pendule à huit cadrans (Exposition publique des produits de l'Industrie française, Catalogue des productions industrielles qui seront exposées dans la grande Cour du Louvre, pendant les cinq jours complémentaires de l'an 9 ; avec les noms, départements et demeures des Manufacturiers et Artistes admis à l'Exposition, Paris, Imprimerie de la République, fructidor an IX, p. 23) (Paris, Archives nationales, F12, 985)

    The list of those exhibitors awarded an honourable mention include : 'HARTMANN, horloger, rue de Vannes, no 9, a Paris. Pour une pendule a hit cadrans, d'un travail soigne. Elle marque le lever, le coucher du soleil, les phases de la lune, &c'

    The first exposition publique des produits de l'industrie francaise was instigated by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798. It's purpose was to galvanise French industry so that it might overtake those of other nations - in particular that of England; the first public solicitation for entries states that '"Our manufactures are arsenals most fatal to the power of the British". As well as encouraging innovation and commercial acumen, it embraced political ideals and was therefore open to all members of French society to submit applications. Jean Chaptal, Minister of the Interior wrote on November 13th 1800, to the three Consuls, Napoleon, Sieyes and Le Brun

    "The continental peace is assured, Citizen Consuls, and you must surely conclude that, in the interest of art, we should hold another Exposition during the new year's week of Year IX." (Bouin and Chanut, Histoire Francaise des Foires et des Expositions Universelles (Paris 1980), page 26.

    Prizes were awarded to, amongst other things, a canal lock mechanism, saws and leather goods. It is recorded that Napoleon, Sieyes and Le Brun each visited the exposition. Doubtlees, Hartmann would have set his clock to perform for them.

    Comparable literature:
    Kjellberg, 'La Pendule Francais', les editions de L'amateur, 1997, plates 280, 329 and 401

    Plate 280 shows a Louis XVI drum clock mounted on an ormolu horse, 38cms high, the movement signed Hartman a Paris.

    Plate 329 shows a white marble and ormolu portico clock with moonphase, republican calendar and decimal dial, 60cms high. The dial signed Hartemann a Paris.

    Plate 401 shows an ormolu clock with moonphase and four further chapter rings for hours, minutes, days and months. 66cms high. Movement signed Hartmann a Paris.
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  1. James Stratton
    Specialist - Clocks
    Bonhams
    Work
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