CARRIAGE CLOCK WITH SINGING BIRD AUTOMATON A. Paul Brotly Devin & Co, Paris 4166 Circa 1850 France

Carriage clocks


Signed: A. Paul Brotly Devin & Co, Paris 4166
Circa 1850

The spring-driven brass movement consists of going and striking trains. The going train has an English lever escapement with adjustable balance on a platform. The striking mechanism indicates the hours in full and the half hours with a single stroke on a bell. The clock also has a singing bird mechanism that is activated using a slide. The bird moves its body and beak and whistles a two-tone tune. The driving mechanism is located in the base of the case and is wound from the side. The going and striking trains are wound at the rear. The setting square for the hands is also located here. The backplate is signed by the retailer as follows: A. Paul Brotly Devin & Co, Paris 4166.

The white enamel dial has a chapter ring with black Roman hour numerals, five-minute divisions and minute strokes. The time is indicated by two pierced blued steel trefoil hands.

The beautiful gilt brass case has columns on the corners, embellished by acanthus leaf motifs at the bottom. The upper part features the moving bird with iridescent feathers in a hedge with a naturalistically created mound. The bird sings and moves on request. The bird moves its hinged beak and wings. The lower part contains the movement and automaton mechanism. The case has two superimposed doors at the rear (one made of brass and the other made of glass). The other sides are all fitted with bevelled glass panels. In this way the movement is almost entirely visible and the singing bird can be seen (the feathers are of a hummingbird). The top is surmounted by a shaped handle.

Examination of the case, movement and mechanism led to the conclusion that the clock was most likely made by Japy Frères in Paris. Japy Frères et Cie were active in Paris around 1850, Rue du Temple, 1860, Rue du Châteu d’Eau. A. Paul Brotly Devin & Co is the retailer of this clock.

Duration: 1 week.

Height: 26.5 cm. (30 cm incl. handle)
Width: 12 cm.
Depth: 10 cm.

– Carriage Clocks, Their history and development, pp. 222 and 223
– Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français, p. 326
– Illustrations of this type of clock can be found in Charles Terwilliger’s ‘A Century of Fine Carriage Clocks’, Clock Trade Enterprises 1987, pp. 74-75.

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