French Empire rotating world time clock in gout d'Egypt temple form.

French Empire rotating world time clock in gout d'Egypt temple form.
Antique world time clock, French Empire, possibly unique version of an extremely rare clock. This clock was almost certainly made for the office of the regional commander Marshal Bernadotte in Stockholm, Sweden. The clock is set upon three ebonised bun feet with a circular limewood base veneered in satinwood enclosing the movement. A patinated bronze plate sits on the top of the base on which six classical female figures in patinated bronze stand on fine original ormolu plinths with mouldings to their bases. Attached to the heads of the female figures is a gothic ring of patinated bronze. Into this is fixed a silvered bronze ring on which are beautifully engraved, 78 significant early 19th century place names around the world. At 0 degrees longitude ( Stockholm Sweden in this case) is fixed a single hand in ormolu and patinated bronze pointing upwards. Running upwards through the base and a fine patinated bronze, pyramid shaped obelisk, standing upon ormolu winged lions, a rotating rod holds a further silvered and engraved ring divided into 24 half hour and hour markers. Set on the ring is another which holds 24 fine ormolu chapters handpainted with figures 1 to 12 on a white background for the hours of daylight and a similar number on a blue background for the night time hours. The rotating rings show the progression of time around the world. For example in the photo 6L the time is shown in Stockholm as 6.30 am and if you move your eye around the large ring you can read off the time at Rio Janeiro as approx 1.15 am. On photo 4L the time at Stockholm is 6.30 while in Madagascar it is 8.45 am and 9.30 at Port Louis in the Indian Ocean. Set on top of the rotating rings is a fine cupola in patinated bronze with superb designs that have been hand cut. On top of the cupola is a patinated bronze bud finial on an ormolu plate. To the side of the base is an engraved and silvered plate with a lever for regulating the timekeeping. The clock is key wound from the side cleverly avoiding having to lift or move the delicate clock in order to wind it up. The movement is of 8 day duration and regulated by a lever escapement. The clock is 19 inches or 47 cms high. French circa 1810. I have only ever seen and handled one other such clock in my years of dealing and collecting. While this clock had its 0 degress longitude at Stockholm the only other version that I have seen had 0 degrees at Frankfurt sur Main. Both of these cities were under effective French control in 1810. Frankfurt was in French control from 1806 -13 and was drawn into the "Confederation of the Rhine" and Napoleon's own stepson Eugene de Beauharnais eventually became Grand Duke of Frankfurt. Stockholm was in many respects a "Little Paris" from circa 1800, the aristocracy slavishly following French Empire style. Sweden was forced into the French sphere of influence by Russia and the Finnish wars in 1809. By 1810 the Swedish governing group realised that they needed a ruler who would be acceptable to Napoleon and made overtures to Marshal Bernadotte who became Crown Prince and later King of Sweden. It would make absolute sense that Marshalls and diplomats in both these areas ( Frankfurt and Stockholm) would have world time clocks such as this one in order to help make and understand strategic plans for land and sea campaigns against Napoleon's enemies. I have heard of no other such clock and believe that these beautiful clocks were made and distributed for strategic reasons. I think that this is the only one of its type ever made. Note. Prior to the International Meridian Conference held in 1884 where Greenwich England was adopted worldwide as the point of the Prime Meridian, each country tended to put 0 degrees longitude through the capital city of each individual country.

Stock Number: 4494

Price: SOLD

Availability: SOLD

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