A Dutch Louis XIV religieuse, signed LEMAIRE on the dial and the movement, c. 1690. The turtleshell and ebony-veneered case has a broken arch pediment and two windows to the sides. The black velvet-covered dial has an engraved pewter chapter ring with full outer minute marking. Finely foliate pierced and engraved gilt hands, pierced and extremely finely engraved upper spandrels and ornament below, forming a gallery and bearing the signature. The twin-train two-week movement has five pillars, verge escapement and silk suspended articulated pendulum between two cycloidal cheeks, as devised by Huygens. The Dutch count-wheel striking train indicates the hours and half hours on two bells differing in pitch with separate hammers. The very finely engraved backplate bears the signature, filled in with black French polish. The clock has its original winding key, also used to open the front door. • Height: 50 cm. • The maker, Pierre Lemaire, was established in the Faubourg St-Germain in Paris in 1674 He was jailed in the Abbaye in 1687, along with his son Jean, for being protestant. All contents of his workshop was subsequently sold in 1687 upon which he took refuge in Amsterdam. It is very likely that this is where the present clock was produced. • Literature: Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français, Paris, 1971, p. 371; R. Plomp, Spring-driven Dutch Pendulum Clocks 1657-1710, Schiedam, 1979; R. Plomp, Early French Pendulum Clocks, 1658-1700, known as Pendules Religieuses, 2009; H.M. Vehmeyer, Clocks – Their Origin and Development, 1320-1880, Gent, 2004, pp. 231, 446, 980.
The Horological Foundation Desk Diary Project.
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