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Automaton mantle clock

Date: c 1890
Overall: 277 x 285 x 220 mm, 7.3 kg
Medium: Bronze, gilt, marble
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Clock
Object No: 00006182
Place Manufactured:France

User Terms

    An 1890s French automaton mantle clock in the form of a two tiered ship's poop deck made by the famous Parisian horologist André Romain Guilmet.

    The clock is complete with railings, compass, ladder, lanterns, helmsman and sailor. The helmsman at the ship's wheel which is connected to the clock pendulum. As the pendulum swings, he rocks back and forth steering the ship. The roman dial is at the centre of the deck, with a sailor holding a coiled rope beside.

    The movement bears Andre Roman Guilmet’s stamp 'GLT' together with 'Medaille D’Or'. This translates as 'gold medal' and refers to an award won by Guilmet.
    SignificanceThis maritime-themed automaton is a wonderful example of the ingenious and novel mantle clocks made by the French clock maker Guilmet in the late 19th century.
    HistoryNovelty clocks became popular on the late 1800's as parts became cheaper to produce and the market.
    The period 1860 to 1910 is known as "The Golden Age of Automata" and Paris was particularly well known as makers of this type of creation which included the production of automaton clocks.
    The Guilmet firm worked during the peak of this period, creating for their wealthy customers automated types of clocks based on themes such as 'maritime' or 'industry/locomotion'. Andre Guilmet became renowned for his 'mystery clocks' in which the mechanism to swing the pendulum is so cleverly disguised that it is imperceptible to the viewer.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Automaton mantle clock

    Assigned title: Automaton mantle clock in the form of a ship's poop deck

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