Already by the end of the 18th century, from the mids on, the French clocks participated of a new art movement; the Neoclassicism. The predominant style in architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts, that had come into its own during the last years of Louis XV's life, chiefly as a reaction to the excesses of the Rococo but partly through the popularity of the excavations at ancient Herculaneum and Pompeii , in Italy. Therefore, the clocks also did without the excessive ornamentation and overelaborate designs of the preceding Rococo style so typical of the Louis XV reign. The timekeepers manufactured both over the Louis XVI and the French First Republic historical periods incorporated this new artistic language with classical designs, allegories and motifs. Some models were architectural i.
French Antique Clocks
Antique Clock Dating and Identification
However, a signature may refer to someone other than the clockmaker. The actual movement may have been made by someone else. Until the 19th century clock cases were almost always made separately from the movement and are rarely signed. It provided a safe alternative to the hazardous use of mercury in gilding metals, which was banned c.
Dating haller clocks
Antique French mantel clocks are clocks that are encased or placed on a base or box and meant for display on top of a fireplace mantel. They typically run for approximately eight days between windings and many make a gong sound at each hour. Antique French mantel clocks differ from American clocks or those made from other European countries. There are a few methods to identify a French mantel clock. Look for a company signature on the dial or the moving parts of the clock.
The first French mantel clocks were developed from French Regency bracket clocks, developed when similar clocks were produced in Rococo style but without a mounting bracket. It was commonplace to set these clocks on a mantelpiece, which is where the name comes from. Some of the finest manufacturers of mantle clocks were Seth Thomas, Ansonia, Sessions, and Waterbury, and each of these brands is still treasured on the antique clock market. All are striking clocks that will count the hour and strike once on the half-hour. Due to the high level of craftsmanship needed to create these masterpieces, they were really out of reach of the common person for generations.