Tardy "La Pendule Francaise", Paris 1949, vol. II, page 333, illustrating a similar clock.
An extremely rare Empire pyramid clock, signed on the front and on the back of the white enamel dial Breguet et Fils, with Turkish numerals and blued steel Breguet hands. The pyramid shaped case signed Piem-Victor Ledure, of green bronze with gilt-bronze mounts and mounted on a green marble base. Double knife-edge suspension with pin-wheel escapement, spring driven, going and striking on a bell.
Paris, date circa 1820
Height 50 cm.
During the nineteenth century clock and case makers constantly sought new ideas. Success was only achieved when a new design was matched by beauty which Breguet managed when he produced this pyramid clock of circa 1820. It clearly shows how far the artist could take his appreciation of Egyptian design; not only were the ormulu lyres and medallions inspired by Napoleon's Egyptian Campaigns but the whole case is shaped in the form of a pyramid.
The shape of the case naturally presented a problem to the clockmaker since the pendulum and escapement had to be acco-modated above the clock itself. Only the most ingenious of clockmakers, such as Breguet could create a highly accurate clock within these confines. The history of timekeeping is indebted to work of the most celebrated horologist, Abraham-Louis Breguet (174 7-1823). In 1807 his talented son, Antoine-Louis became a partner of the firm and thus clocks after this date, such as this, are signed Breguet et Fils, though made under the direction of the father. Abraham-Louis continued to be active In his trade right up until his death. Intact, the last ten years of his life were some of his most successful. This clock was produced soon after Breguet Snr. had been created Horo-loger de la Marine and Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, and at a time when the firm were supplying to royalty diplomats and aristocracy . around the world. The enamel dial with Turkish numerals is almost identical to a Breguet 'pendule chevalef of 1817, (no. 2973, with certificate) which Breguet delivered to Le Roy, his agent in Constantinople.
Judging from the similarity of the dials, this pyramid clock went East and may easily have been purchased by one of the Sultans of Constantinople.
Not only is it a beautiful work of art but also extremely rare.
Breguet only made relatively few clocks (as opposed to watches) and only a small number of these had pendulums. Breguet was also the only known artist to have produced pyramid clocks, limited to a number of five, or ten at the most. Of the other rare Breguet pyramid clocks, one is illustrated in Tardy s definitive book (see literature), it has a slightly different movement, a rounded top and ormulu mounts depicting classical figures and lions. Breguet timepieces were only ever housed in the finest cases, this one is the work of Parisian bronzier, Pierre-Victor Ledure. Born in 1783, Ledure trained under the famous bronzier A A Ravrio (1759-1814). It was not long before Ledure was also recognised as a leading bronzier of the early nineteenth century. He like Ravrio specialised in creating an antique-green' patination which