Current issue of Antiquarian Horology
Volume 39, Issue 4, December 2018
The front cover shows an overview of the exhibition Innovation & Collaboration. The early development of the pendulum clock in London held in London from 3 to 14 September 2018. This issue contains a report of the exhibition as well as a review of the book that was published with it.
Photo: Benjamin Thomas for the Innovation & Collaboration Clock Exhibition, www.clockexhibition.org.uk.
This issue contains the following articles:
‘An early Gothic Hausuhr’
by John A. Robey (pages 475-484)
Summary: A Gothic Hausuhr with a very unusual frame construction and original wheels, including the crownwheel, is discussed. A careful forensic-like study of repairs and modifications indicates that it has been in use for a considerable period and is of an early date. Technical features, especially the form of the suspension gallows, suggest that it originated from southeastern Austria.
‘Louis Ourry (1643–1699). A Huguenot clockmaker in Paris and an early bedchamber clock from his workshop’
by Erik Wauters and Chris Schouten (pages 485-503)
Summary: The restoration of a simple bedchamber clock (pendule d’alcove) raised certain questions, which led to the writing of this article. An in-depth study of the movement, especially in relation to the case, gives an insight into the business of clock-making in seventeenth-century Paris. The maker, Louis Ourry, is discussed on the basis of available documentation. His working life is related with reference to his background, his family relationships, his customers and the inventory of his stock; all this against the political backdrop of anti-Huguenot sentiment during the reign of Louis XIV. What emerges is not the portrait of an artisan craftsman slaving away at his bench, but rather the rough sketch of an owner/manager of a clockmaking enterprise.
‘The John Smeaton family from York and their horological connections. Part 1 – The York years’
by Chris Watson (pages 504-512)
Summary: The purpose of this two-part article is to review and, where possible, enlarge upon the known horological aspects of the John Smeaton family from York. Part 1 covers the family background and the work of the first John Smeaton and his son, the second John. Part 2 will be primarily concerned with the extent to which the renowned civil engineer, John Smeaton FRS, became involved in horological matters throughout his remarkable career.
‘Drocourt’s porcelain tributes to Romantic Love and Royal Victory. Art-historical appreciation of rare carriage clocks’
by Larry L. Fabian (pages 513-527)
Summary: Victorian-era French carriage clocks with exceptional porcelain painting have long been admired by discerning collectors both for their horological quality and for the beauty of their panels and dials. Rarely, however, do images on the finest examples lend themselves to an art-historical interpretation. The Parisian atelier of Alfred Drocourt finished two such examples in the late nineteenth century. One was a coming-of-age gift presented to a young woman from a family with a distinguished ancestral history in Wales and England. Her clock’s porcelain bears an illustrious and impeccable eighteenth-century French artistic pedigree. The porcelain painting on another Drocourt evokes a celebration of France’s military prowess in Flanders during the reign of Louis XV. Art-historical perspectives not only enhance our appreciation of these two clocks as objets d’art, but also suggest potentially promising lines of inquiry about other fine French porcelain carriage clocks whose artistry merits similar analysis. (Read this article here)
‘Timepieces in Victorian narrative painting’
by Louise Cooling (pages 528-544)
Summary: For the nineteenth-century practitioners of narrative painting, timepieces were part of an established iconography inherited from William Hogarth and the masters of Dutch Golden Age genre painting. In an age of growing consciousness of time, during which both public and personal timepieces were increasingly common, the material associations and symbolic meaning of timepieces were exploited to great effect by artists. This paper was first presented at the Ward Francillon Time Symposium 2017 at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, with the kind support of the AHS. An abridged version of this article appeared in Watch & Clock Bulletin No. 433: May/June 2018.
The issue totals 144 pages and is illustrated mainly in colour, and is completed by the regular sections Horological News, Book Reviews, AHS Programme and Calendar, AHS News, Letters to the Editor and Further Reading.
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