What Napoleon gave to his officers.
French travelling clock, a so-called capucine, c. 1805.
The austere rectangular brass case has doors on both sides, as well as at the back. The backdoor gives access to the pendulum and has a catch which is typical for capucines. The clock is surmounted by a bell on a support with a carrying handle on top. The four corners are embellished by four turned vase-shaped finials. The clock stands on four turned feet. The front shows a white enamel dial, set in an engine-turned bezel, which looks like a rope. Beneath the dial are two winding holes.
The spring-driven, eight day movement consists of going, striking and alarm trains. The going train has anchor escapement and short, silk-suspended pendulum. The rack striking train indicates the hours fully and the half hour by one stroke on the bell. Two minutes past the hour it is repeated. The clock has trip repeat which is activated by a small button in the right-hand door. The alarm is activated by pulling a chord, which winds a spring. The alarm train is set by a sweep central pointer on the chapter ring.
The white enamel dial dominates the front and emphasis the functionality of the clock. The time is indicated by a pair of blued-steel Breguet hands on a black Roman chapter ring.
Waging war in Napoleons time implied enormous moves from one places to another and setting up camp from where action was undertaken. Officers enjoyed a certain luxury and stayed in relatively comfortable tents. It interior also comprised a clock, a so-called pendule d’officier (‘officer’s clock’), which in the French Empire period was give the name of capucine.
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