c1800 French Ormolu Sedan Hour Repeater Carriage Clock


A late 18th or early 19th century French very ornate ormolu circular cased Sedan Carriage Clock, with a rare Hour Repeating system, in good working condition.

The timepiece has a white enamel face, with both Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic for the minutes. The keywind hole is just above the 6 o’clock. The gold plated ormolu case is cast in high relief with ribbon tied floral garlands and a bud top which is fitted with a twisted design suspension loop. On the bottom is a hole, through which hangs a small pull repeater cord that releases the hour chimes. The hinged backplate opens up to reveal the complicated movement. The repeater watch uses a gong made of a long hardened steel wire that is coiled inside the watch case. A tiny hammer, actuated by the repeater mechanism, strikes it to make the chiming sound. The volume is low, so requires holding it close to the ear or surrounding silence. There are 2 keys. One for winding the mechanism and the other for adjusting the hands, and the fast and slow wheel.

A repeater is a complicated mechanical watch or clock that chimes the hours (and sometimes minutes) at the press of a button (or pull of a cord). They originated before widespread artificial illumination, to allow the time to be determined in the dark. The best kind of repeating clocks were expensive to make, as a separate train of wheels had to be added to the striking mechanism. During the nineteenth century such clocks gradually went out of use and with the advent of gas lighting, repeating clocks became an unnecessary luxury.

Size: 13 x 8 x 3 cm (5 1/8 x 3 1/8 x 1 1/8)
Weight: 355 g