A well-proportioned, small Victorian black and coloured marble mantle clock by Japy Freres & Cie and retailed by Victor Reclus, c1865. Case is of polished black marble with coloured marble detail to front corners. White enamelled dial with black Roman numerals and blued steel moon-shaped hands. Gilt inner bezel with brass outer surround to the bevelled glass dial cover. A twin-train 8-day movement with Brocot for fine regulation. Striking the hours and half-hour on a bell with external count-wheel (used pre-1880). Serial number 5370 stamped on reverse of dial, backplate and pendulum. Backplate also stamped with Japy Freres & Cie Medaille (date illegible but likely 1853) and trademark for Victor Reclus (V.R. with sunburst). The clock measures 21.5 cm in height and 20 cm in width and 11.5 cm maximum depth. Excellent timekeeper. Fully cleaned and serviced. The clock's movement is covered by our 12-month warranty in the UK. Watch a brief video of it striking (above).
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.
Pierre Victor Reclus (born 1831) opened a clock shop at rue Dauphine, Paris in 1856 – filing his first patent in March "for a type of meter for cars". The invention was intended for four-wheeled carriages for public hire, however, was not greatly successful. In 1858 he moved his workshop to rue des Lavandieres-Sainte-Opportune and then to rue du Temple. By circa 1860, Reclus had filed several further patents, including one for an aerial telegraphy system and another for an alarm clock – also sitting on the board of the Chambre Syndicale de l'Horlogerie. In 1867 Reclus is listed alongside industry names such as Jacot, Drocourt, Leroy, Charpentier and Desfontaines as makers of Pendules De Voyage in the journal “Mémoires de la Société d'Emulation du Doubs”. He exhibited his clocks at the Paris exhibitions of 1878 and 1889, winning two silver medals in 1878 and a gold in 1889. During the 1870s Reclus began concentrating increasingly on the use of electricity in clocks, patenting an electric pendulum and in 1887 patented a clock with electric winding. In 1890, one of his electrical clocks was installed in the new Commercial Museum of the Paris Stock Exchange. In 1896, his electric clocks were presented at the exhibition of the International Society of Electricians and in 1897, Victor Reclus was listed as a member of the admissions committee of the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris for electric lighting. By the early 1900s Reclus had moved away from Paris to Prigonrieux, near Bergerac where he died in the early 1920s.
Small Black Marble Striking Mantle Clock by Japy Freres & Cie c1865
This clock is in excellent condition commensurate with age. In excellent working order. Exceptionally minor signs of age and use to the marble case which is in rarely found, excellent condition. Please see images as these form an important part of the description.