A quality French Carrara Marble and Gilt Brass Four Glass Mantle Clock surmounted by a lion c1880. Shaped Carrara marble top and base, raised on turned feet. Four Corinthian fluted columns with finely cast and chased ormolu capitals and plinths. Trapezoidal gilt brass four-glass central element with bevelled glass panels. White enamelled chapter ring with roman numerals and blued-steel moon hands. Finely cast ormolu bezel and engine-turned ormolu dial centre. An 8-day twin-train movement striking the hours and single passing strike to the half hour on a gong. Mercury compensated pendulum. Movement stamped LF Japy & Cie within a medal. Supplied with key. 46cm height to top of lion (36cm without), maximum width is 32cm and 19cm maximum depth. Circa 1880. A magnificent example of its type. Watch a video of it striking (above). Fully cleaned and serviced but retaining its antique patina. The clock's movement is covered by our 12-month warranty within the UK.
Frédéric Japy (1749-1812) was apprenticed into the profession of watchmaker by his grandfather (Jacques Georges Frédéric Japy) in Montbeliard. At age 17, he returned to Beaucourt to work with his father. Frédéric brought in new machinery that radically changed the way clocks were produced – more than doubling production within a few years. Japy also invented and developed the machines to produce items for a range of hardware parts such as screws, nails, bolts and locks – as well as improving the production of enamelware thus making Japy's enamel dials the standard for the majority of clock manufacturers. Together with three of his sons (Pierre, Frederic Guillaume “Fritz” and Louis Frederic) he founded the company of Japy & Cie – in 1806 becoming Japy Freres when Frédéric handed over the business to his sons. They further developed and diversified the company – adapting their machinery to extend production to include a variety of household items from kitchen utensils and enamel signs, to early typewriters. Frédéric’s grandsons however failed to respond to changing life-styles and tastes – so by the early 1900’s most of the businesses were sold off or closed. In the 1930's, Japy Frères attempted to reinvent themselves to appeal to a wider market producing several models in the Art Deco style. However, they were competing with established companies such as Jaz and Blangy and sales were limited. As with most French clockmakers, they did not re-start after WWII.