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Maker, probably Jefferys & Gilbert, France. c. 1820's. Movement 7.5"h x 3.5"w x 2.5"d. / 13.5"h x 6"w 4.5"d over dome. Double 'Y' frame, pinwheel escapement, silk suspension, count wheel strike, eight day duration.

Click on pictures for more detail.

                        Double great wheel (1).JPG (1852684 bytes) 

                        Double great wheel (2).JPG (1997799 bytes)

                        Double great wheel (3).JPG (1916008 bytes)

                        Double great wheel (4).JPG (1806734 bytes)

An interesting miniature great wheel, unlike any I've encountered. This great wheel has too trains with full hour and half hour striking. Great wheel clocks are usually time train only and in the 'Y' frame configuration the two train variety are virtually unknown. From the front the clock looks like a conventional great wheel design (first photo). However, here the similarities end. There is an additional center frame that divides the time train (front) from the strike train (rear) making this a double-framed movement. While the time train employs a fusee system that winds from the front, the strike train uses a going barrel wound from the rear. The second, rear great wheel employed in the strike train has a 36 hour count wheel mounted to it.

There is a wide variety of wheel crossings used throughout the movement from a conventional four, to five and then six spokes and culminating in the fanciful, curvilinear design used in the strike train's great wheel. Wheels are wafer thin and crossings are in the traditional French star pattern exhibiting an exaggerated taper from the hub to the rim. Frames are stippled; gilded and held together with decorative, threaded rosettes. Pillars ends decorated with fine turning and knurling.

There is a clock illustrated in Continental and American Skeleton Clocks, pp. 74 that has identical rosette  frame fasteners, frame feet and frame stippling and contours as this example, but, however is a single train as are all of the other examples I have seen.

This clock was expertly renovated by John R. Shallcross F.B.H.I. in 2010.

Provenance: Christie's, New York, USA, June 17, 2005; Lot #43. Formerly from the R.O. Schmitt collection.

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