Conical Pendulum Clock. (c. 1875 France)

 Conical Pendulum Clock.
Title Conical Pendulum Clock.
Country of Origin France
Dated c. 1875
Classification EUGÈNE FARCOT (1830-1896)
Dimensions 82.50cm high (32.48 inches high)
Status SOLD

Derek.H.Roberts. Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy clocks.Pages 123-127

Description / Expertise

D161. The conical pendulum is discussed in some detail in Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks (i). Its most characteristic feature is that it is in constant motion as opposed to the conventional pendulum which is continuously stopping and starting.

The first mention of it appears in Bodeker’s account in 1587 of the astronomical clock in the Dom at Osnaburg and it is subsequently considered and analysed by Huygens; however probably its first practical application was by Passement in Paris when he incorporated it in a clock to keep a telescope pointing continuously at a particular star.

It was in 1861 that E.Farcot first employed a conical pendulum in a clock and subsequently produced a series of such clocks, at least four of which were of superb quality and over 9ft tall. The dial and movement of the present clock is very similar to one of these.

The large and particularly good example seen here features the finely executed silvered bronze figure of an angel resting on gilded clouds which she has just risen through. Her outstretched hands hold a bunch of flowers with an acorn finial on top to which the silk suspension for the pendulum is attached. This has a spherical deep blue bob studded with gold stars.

The onyx base of the clock has a shaped platform on which the figure rests. Below this is the shaped body of the case decorated on either side with a large and a small domed disc decorated with coloured champleve enamels. There are four further shaped and multicoloured enamel plaques to the corners of the dial and a fifth one to the front of the stepped base which has decorative moulds above it and rests on six shaped and gilded feet. The chapter ring is also gilded. It has raised numerals and the centre is left open to be able to view the movement.

Height:- 32.5". (82.5cms.)

(i) Roberts. D. Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks. Chapter 10, pages 123-130.

Contact dealer about this item »