Mantel and Table Clocks

Mystery half hour striking clock

    Mystery half hour striking clock

    France, Paris

    Circa 1850

    Robert-Houdin, Jean-Eugène

    Brass, wood, glass, velvet; gilding, casting, mechanical and glass works

    Height 53.5 cm

    On the dial: “ROBERT HOUDIN/PARIS”; on the movement mounting plate: “497/7/7/HOUDIN/18”


    The pedestal of the glass column is mounted on ornately shaped wooden base covered with blue velvet and decorated with cast openwork onlays.

    The base is a composition of four fancy ornithorynchous creatures sitting among rocailles and volutes, and surrounding the ornately shaped vase into which a double glass tube is inserted. Foliage composition shaped bracket is mounted on the tube top; it supports smooth bezel of the round transparent dial with black Roman numerals for hours’ designation and 12 minutes’ divisions in two points. The axis of the gilded hour hand in the form of an arrow crosses the dial center. The hand has no visible connection with the clockwork. It is driven by rotating glass disc. The clockwork mounted in the base has eight-days winding reserve, half hour strike on bell and balance lever escapement. The movement from the clockwork to the hands is transmitted via rotating inner glass tube and worm gear. Three apertures for winding the clockwork and hands adjustment are in base rear side. The clock belongs to the third series of Mystery Clocks by the French watchmaker Eugene Robert Houdin with transparent glass dial and one hand. The key for the hands setting and winding the springs for the clockwork and strike is in the set.