Silence in the bedroom
A French cartel d’alcove (bedroom clock), which only strikes on request. In this
way it is possible to establish the time in the dark without lighting a candle
Ormolu Louis-XVI wall clock with pull quarter repeat, c. 1770.
The firegilt case has a symmetrical form typical of the Louis-XVI period, with a white enamel dial slightly above the middle, protected by a convex glass set in a bezel and flanked by two unopened roses on bases. Below the dial is a window through which the movement of the pendulum can be seen, while to the sides there are laurel tendrils with berries. The case is surmounted by an urn with handles.
The white enamelled dial is signed by the maker in the following manner: Noel Baltazar. The black chapter ring has Roman hour and Arabic five-minute divisions. There is only one winding hole as the clock is a timepiece. The finely pierced and engraved hands are typical of the period.
The eight-day movement is constructed between two plates. It has anchor escapement and short pendulum with silk suspension, which can be regulated with a watch key on a square near the XII. In addition the clock has pull quarter repeat which when activated sounds the hours first followed by the quarters on one bell.
Noel Balthazar (d. Paris, January 1786) was the son of Henry Baltazar. His date of birth is not known. He was married to Marie-Genevieve Marlet in 1737, who gave him two sons: Etienne-Jacques, also a clockmaker and of Henry-Noel, avocat au Parlement, who served a clockmaker’s apprenticeship with Antoine Paillard. Noel was received as member of the guild on 26 March 1717. He was established in the Rue du Roule near the Cheval Noir (1737). Later in 1748, at the corner of the Place Dauphine and the Quai des Orfèvres. He was active until the end of his life, spanning nearly 70 years. From 1769 to 1786, he had a permanent stock of interesting pieces worth about 8000 livres. He used clock cases by C. Cressent, B. Lieutaud, J.J. de Saint-Germain, N. Bonnet, C. Grimpelle, and J.A. Jollain. His watch cases were made by Saint-Preuil and Monchanin, and he employed the gilders Gobert and Antoine Deiaval. There are Baltazar clocks in museums end important houses: Aylesbury, Waddesdon Manor; Copenhagen, Frederiksborg Castle; Milan, Museo d'Arte lndustriale; Paris; musée du Louvre; Poznan, National Museum.
J.-D. Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, Antiquorum, 1996, pp. 276-77
Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers français, Paris, 1971, p. 26
|Price on request|