Mantel and Table Clocks

Mantel clock “Fort Longchamp” with automaton

    Mantel clock “Fort Longchamp” with automaton

    France, Beaucourt

    Circa 1870

    Japy Freres & Cie

    Brass, steel, glass, blued steel; gilding, silvering, casting, mechanical work

    Height 66.5 cm

    On the plate: “FORT de LONGCHAMPS A CUPOLE TOURNANTE”. On barometer: “TEMPÉTE G.Pluie PluieouV. VARIABLE B.Temps B.Fixe TRÉS-SEC”, “BAROMÉTRE ANÉROȈDE”. On the rear mounting plate: “Japy Freres”


    The clock case is in the form of a tapering in the upper part gilded and silver-plated brass tower with imitation of masonry, with rotating dome-shaped automaton, jagged baluster and top finial. The clock is mounted on rectangular base with shell casings in the corners, on the feet in the shape of silvered cannon-balls pyramids and lateral surface decorated with lion mascarons. Four consoles with cannons with flame bursting forth from the muzzles and gilded color chains are on lateral sides. The clock dial and aneroid barometer circular scale behind the doors with faceted glass and onlay cast ornament above are on the front side. Two vertical racks with mercury-filled thermometers and burning torches are on the sides. Onlay ribbon-shaped pattern is on the circular frieze. The nameplate with inscription: “FORT de LONGCHAMPS /A CUPOLE TOURNANTE” is beneath the barometer. Ring dial with black Roman numerals for hours’ designation, two blued steel hands and two apertures with pins for winding the clock and striking and escapement adjustment lever. The clock rear side is closed with round lid; the automaton winding hole is on the freeze.

    The clock movement with pendulum, eight-days power reserve, cylinder escapement, two spring motors, half an hour strike upon gong and mark “Japy Freres” on the rear mounting plate. Dome-shaped rotating automaton with quadrel shaped surface and eight cannons that are firing independently as if imitating all-round field of fire. Two keys are in the set.

    Longchamp tower-fort was constructed in the early 18th century in the northern Normandy, was renovated in the 1870s. The model of a fort-shaped clock as a symbol of a state might and border inviolability was produced with slight design changes until the early 19th century.