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Breguet et Fils [Paris]

Floor standing clock 1819-24

RCIN 2767

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A long case astronomical clock in a mahogany and glass case with gilt bronze mouldings and a projecting cornice and plinth. The clock has two independent but identical movements incorporating two silvered dials, each with pinwheel escapements and jewelled pallets, and driven by a single heavy weight for both the barrels. The dials indicate apparent and mean time, the month and the day (right) and the time only (left). The second hand on the right dial moves anti-clockwise.

There are two pendulums identically constructed with zinc and steel compensation and brass bobs; each pendulum swings in the opposite direction to the other ensuring, by sympathetic action, that both movements remain extremely accurate; any error in time keeping by one is reduced by the other. In a regulator of high quality the sharing of any error by means of this refinement ensures almost perfect timekeeping. Also, by sealing the movements and pendulums behind glass pressures caused by the displacement of air are eliminated.

The case is fitted in the base with a box for burning charcoal which is linked to a zinc chimney running behind the mechanisms. Access to the oven is either through the hinged front panel of the base, operated by means of a spring catch, or by drawing the base forward from the back panel. The provision of the oven was viewed as an optional extra to be used to maintain a constant temperature.