A Rare Giant Grande Sonnerie Carriage Clock
A Rare Giant Grande Sonnerie Carriage Clock
A Rare Giant Grande Sonnerie Carriage Clock
A Rare Giant Grande Sonnerie Carriage Clock
A Rare Giant Grande Sonnerie Carriage Clock

PIERRE & ALFRED DROCOURT (worked 1853-1906)

A Rare Giant Grande Sonnerie Carriage Clock

c. 1885 Paris

Offered by Leigh Extence

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A fine and rare giant grande-sonnerie carriage clock by Drocourt, with an excellent provenance.
The eight-day duration movement has a large silvered platform lever straight-line club-tooth escapement with a Brequet overcoil to the hairspring, and strikes the hours and quarters on two gongs, with each being sounded at each quarter; grande-sonnerie strike. To the underside of the case is a lever allowing for the full striking, striking or silent. The backplate is stamped with the Drocourt trademark along with the serial number 17468, with the gong block stamped F.D. for the gong maker.
The silvered dial is beautifully engraved with floriate decoration, with the inset ring having black Roman numerals and further engraving to the dial; with blued steel spade hands.
The substantial case is reminiscent of those made at this period for English carriage clocks with pillared corners which have ringed capitals standing on further blocks and a moulded frieze, and retains its original gilding.
Complete with the original numbered box and key.

Reserved at present

Having spent some years researching the lives and clocks of Henri Jacot and his family, I am now doing the same for Drocourt with the aim of a combined book on the two. Pierre Drocourt, born 1819 & his son Alfred, born 1847, were one of the top maker's of carriage clocks in the mid to late Victorian period, having a factory at Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, the most important town for carriage clock manufacture at the time, as well as premises in Paris at Rue Debelleyme 28; previously named Rue de Limoges prior to 1866. They made superb carriage clocks, which were often highly decorative, and were awarded numerous medals at exhibitions, such as the Bronze Medal at Paris 1867, the Silver at Paris 1878 and the gold at Paris in 1889. Alfred succeeded his father Pierre in circa 1871, when the latter retired to his home village along with his wife Marie and daughter Melanie.
Fully restored
The previous owner, a collector from the London area, originally bought the clock from Maurice Pitcher of E. Pitcher & Co. in 1968 at a cost of £1,600.00.
Maurice Pitcher was probably the foremost carriage clock dealer of the time having taken over the business from his father Ernest in 1915 on his return from the war; Ernest having died in 1914. The firm was founded in 1880, as wholesalers of French clocks imported into Britain, and are known to have been the sole importer of clocks manufactured by the Parisian maker V. Blanpain, being a interesting connection as Blanpain shared a workshop with the young Pierre Drocourt from 1856, at Rue Limoges 8, having been there a couple of years before Drocourt joined him from his own workshops at Rue Coutures-St-Gervais in that year. At one point, circa 1900, E. Pitcher & Co were importers into Britain of carriage clocks made by a number of other French makers including E. Maurice; Couaillet Freres; Margaine; Hour and Chevallier, the latter most likely being Auguste Lechevallier, the workshop manager for Alfred Drocourt.
See Allix & Bonnert; Carriage Clocks, Their History & Development, Appendix (c) for a personal recollection of the French carriage clock industry by Maurice Pitcher.
Dimensions
Height 9.50 inch (24.13 cm)
Stock Code
1332
Signed/Inscribed
Drocourt
Leigh Extence

Leigh Extence
By Appointment
Exeter
Devon
England

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