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Louis Thouverez, Paris, France, c. 1785. Dial is signed Thouverez h[orlo]jer From his highness M. {on signueu} r Duke of Orleans. Louis Thouverez is referred to in Baille's Watchmakers and Clockmaker's of the World, p. 313 as Master 1788-1825. Single train great wheel with rafter frame design. The great wheel is seven inches in diameter with crossings being of 'Y' formation. Pinwheel escapement, gridiron, compensated 1/2 second pendulum on knife-edge suspension.

Upper dial with center seconds hand. Left hand dial showing date, day of week and its zodiacal sign. Right hand dial indicating the months, their zodiac sign and the seasons. White marble base with putti in bacchanal scene frieze on front and science attributions, telescope and thermometer on sides.

The clock was made about 1790 for the Duke of Orleans who was known as  'Philipe Egalite' because of his liberal tendencies. As leader of the liberals and a Jacobin, the Duke of Orleans voted in January 1793 for the death of his cousin Louis XVI and subsequently followed him to the guillotine in November 1793, just a month after the King's wife, Marie Antoinette met the same fate. His eldest son became King of France, as Louis Phillipe, in 1830 and, when later deposed came to England, where he died.

The Duke of Orleans was an avid collector of skeleton clocks and may have also been the one who commissioned a large and rare clock by Ferdinand Berthoud.

Louis Thouverez, Paris, France, c. 1785. Dial is signed Thouverez h[orlo]jer From his highness M. {on signueu} r Duke of Orleans.

 

This clock's pendulum has an interesting feature located on the rear of the bob. There is a compartment that can be filled with lead shot to alter the mass of the the bob. What is interesting is that the compartment is quite small and the mass of the lead shot it holds is small compared to the overall mass of the bob. Theoretically this method should not be able to have any effect on the operation of the pendulum, excepting is making a very slight change in the center of gravity, something that the knurl nut at the base of the pendulum should take care of.

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