RELIGIEUSE Nicolas Hanet AParis Ca. 1658-1660

Hague clocks & Religieuses


Signed: Nicolas Hanet AParis
Circa 1658-1660

The early spring-driven, day-going, single barrel movement of this religieuse has going and striking trains. The going train has verge escapement with a short pendulum between cycloidal cheeks. The striking train is regulated by a large external countwheel and indicates the hours fully and the half hours by a single stroke on a bell. The countwheel has engraved Arabic numerals indicating the position of the striking train.

The iron dial, which is covered with blue velvet, has a silver chapter ring with Roman numerals, half-hour, quarter-hour and Arabic minute divisions. Below is an engraved shaped silver lambrequin signature plaque: Nicolas Hanet AParis. This cartouche can be lifted up to reveal a hole through which the pendulum can be set going whilst the clock is on the wall. The time is indicated by a fine pair of shaped silver hands.

The rectangular ebony-veneered oak case of this religieuse has a front door with a tortoise-shell veneered frame. The bell is situated on top of the case and is surmounted by a vase-shaped finial. At the back are two suspension eyes. To access the movement the door should be opened, and subsequently the dial catch should be pressed to let the dial turn outwards. The walnut-veneered inside of the backboard is embellished by a rectangular ebony line inlay.

Duration 30 hours

Height 34 cm
Width 24 cm
Depth 10 cm

– Dr. R. Plomp, Spring-driven Dutch Pendulum Clocks, Schiedam, 1979.
– Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français, Paris, 1971, p. 290.
– H.M. Vehmeyer, Clocks – Their Origin and Development, Gent, 2004, p. 790-791
– Huygens’ Legacy. The Golden Age of the Pendulum Clock, blz. 44-45

The maker
Nicolas Hanet was Salomon Coster’s agent in Paris and as such responsible for the delivery of a large number of Coster clocks to buyers in Paris, who usually placed their orders through Huygens. In 1657 or 1658 he worked in Coster’s workshop in The Hague to learn how to make the newly-invented pendulum clock; Hanet visited The Hague three times. The third time his return to Paris, planned in December 1659, was postponed until March/April 1660; this was probably due to Coster’s death in December 1659. In 1658, Hanet was the first Frenchman to make a pendulum clock and he may therefore be regarded as the ‘father’ of the French pendulum clock. Hanet’s date of birth is unknown; he died in Le Mans in 1723.

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