French mahogany Empire clock

French Empire period mahogany mantel clock signed Lepaute à Paris.

A fine French mantel clock of the first empire period, from the house of Lepaute in Paris, signed thus on the dial.

Dated March 1809 on both mainstprings (Mars 1809). Jean-André Lepaute, with his younger brother Jean-Baptiste, founded the clockmaking dynasty under Louis XV. They achieved the warrant of ‘Horlogers du Roi’ very early for sundry important commissions and technical advances eg. the pinwheel escapement.

Jean-André died in 1789. Jean-Baptiste died in 1802. Pierre-Basile, a nephew of Jean-André, succeeded to the firm in 1802. The case severely and elegantly styled styled in the architectural Napoleonic taste, with a ‘Retour de L’Egypte‘ theme in the flanking gilt bronze sphinxes and the lotus design in the gilt inner bezel.

Mahogany veneer (French cut) over oak. Very fine ebony single stringing to case edges. Geometric inlay to upper face of lower plinth. Large white enamel dial, signed  ‘Lepaute   A  PARIS’.

Dial flanked by 2 upper quadrant spandrels in gilt bronze.

Relieved Breguet hands in blued steel.

Fine adjustments arbor at top of dial.

Large calibre hand-made time-and -strike pendule de Paris movement, silk-suspension, striking hours and half hours on a single bell. Unusually long mainsprings. Capital Roman ‘L’ stamped into rear of front plate.

31 teeth to escape wheel. Period pendulum, perfectly fitted and looks to be correct for this clock.

Dimensions: 380 x 230 x 175mm


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