Mantel and Table Clocks

Musical mantel clock with automaton of a Magician

    Musical mantel clock with automaton of a Magician

    France / Austria-Hungary, Paris / Prague


    La Fabrique D'Horologerie de J-F. Houdin (clock); F. Rzebitschek Musikwerk Fabrik in Prag (musical movement)

    Bronze, wood, glass, velvet, metal; casting, gilding, mechanical work

    57.5 x 40 x 27.5 cm

    On the dial: "J.F. Houdin, Palais Royal", on the automation mounting palte: "INVENTÉ ET ÉXECUTÉ A LA FABRIQUE D'HOROLOGERIE DE J-F. HOUDIN RUE VIEILLE DU TEMPLE No 78 A PARIS, 1836", on the musical movement mounting plate: "Rzebitschek in Prag", "2255", "28130"


    The clock case is made of gilded bronze with a base decorated with mascarons, fancy creatures and a cornice with a regular ornament, mounted on a pyramidal wooden stand with rounded corners, gilded ornament in the form of stars, dice, crescents and a top panel covered with burgundy velvet. Cast gilded ornament of leaves and birds with outstretched wings is on the case front and lateral panels’ corners. Round dial framed with embossed leaf, ornament is in the center. The hours are designated by the Roman numerals, with minute divisions, two hands of blued steel, two apertures for the clock and chime winding, with the inscription: “JF HOUDIN”, “PALAIS ROYAL”. The reverse side of the clockwork is closed by round glazed door. Automaton of a magician is mounted above the clock movement. It is dressed in oriental clothes; stands at a table draped with a “tablecloth” with a fringe and stylized six-pointed stars. The tablecloth is attached to the table frame with two screws, you can slide it forward and see the operation of the automaton mechanism with a spring motor, winding pin is located on the rear side to the left of the magician. The musical mechanism turns on every hour after the clock chime. It performs one of four tunes, the magician nods his head, raises his hands alternately with small glasses and shows various combinations of dices, balls or cones, which magically move from under one glass to another, or disappear completely. Three keys are in the set.