This outstanding carriage clock is a great rarity and extremely beautiful, even among Breguet carriage clocks. It is described in the registers, in common with most other carriage clocks, as a "Pendule à Almanac". However, this is the only almanac (calendar) clock which is known to have survived in a silver case. Three silver-cased carriage clocks were made by Breguet, the other two are presumably now lost. This clock is also one of the smallest examples, only 2 mm larger overall than the "Gerugross Breguet" No. 2898, sold by Antiquorum, Geneva, April 24, 2004, Lot 42, which was unusually described as "small" in the Breguet registers. The carriage clock, as we know it today, was designed and invented by Breguet around 1795. These small clocks, varying in size between 110 mm. and 160 mm. high, were devised by Breguet as traveling clocks sometimes called "pendules portatives" or "pendules de voyage". All have either quarter repeating or half-quarter repeating and alarm. In 1798 Breguet sold his first one to Napoleon Bonaparte, No. 178, (also 110 mm. high), sold by Antiquorum, Geneva, April 14, 1991, Lot 10. Examining Breguet's carriage clocks, one is astonished to see how far ahead of his time he was. Indeed, although the basic movements are strikingly similar, more recent clocks rarely match those of Breguet in finish and complication. Breguet made approximately 90 carriage clocks, many of them in mahogany cases. Those in gilt brass cases are scarce and rarely come onto the market. This example, in a silver case, is likely to be the only one to appear on the market. In addition to its size, one should stress the remarkable degree of precision Breguet put into the finish of this clock and the utmost care and attention given to its details. The escapement, the heart of every timekeeper, is a marvel of watchmaking skill, far ahead of its time. The application of a lever escapement is rare for the time and was attempted by only the best watchmakers. The equalizing is done by the specially calibrated tail of the fork. The balance itself is made in the same manner as the ones found only in Breguet's best "garde-temps" chronometers. It has two bimetallic segments and screws for temperature and timing adjustment. Breguet placed a "parachute" suspension on the balance pivot to minimize the risk of breaking the balance if the clock were dropped. The escapement is jeweled, at a time when jeweling was very expensive and not yet common on the continent. In fact Breguet had brought back a master watch jeweler, Mr. Hooker, from one of his trips to England. The work done on the escapement and the finishing cost him six times more than the cost of an entire bronze case! The work involved in making these carriage clocks was time-consuming and costly, which explains why such clocks could cost up to a staggering 4000 francs. The original gold tooled, red morocco numbered traveling case is particularly well made, even for Breguet, the sliding front cover has brass runners and the top halves of the box open outwards to the sides to allow the clock to be almost fully displayed whilst sitting in the case. The case is embossed "Breguet Pere et Fils, Quai de L'Horloge du Palais". This clock is illustrated in "The Art of Breguet", George Daniels, 1975, p. 247 & color plate IX.
Prince Serge Mikhailovitch Galitzine (1774 - 1859)
The son of Prince Mikhail Mikhailovitch Galitzine, general-lieutenant, and his wife, née Baroness Anna Alexandrovna Stroganov, Prince Serge Mikhailovitch Galitzine had inherited an immense fortune from his mother, of which he gave a significant portion to charity. Every Saturday he welcomed all of Moscows beggars and gave alms to them. He extended his help and protection to many orphans, continuing his aid long after they had reached adulthood and assisting many who wished to attend the university. As the head of his family, he gave pensions to many of his poorer relations. Altruistic, charitable, affable, compassionate, he was much appreciated in society and was a particular favorite of Empress Maria Feodorovna, with whom he long corresponded. A volume of their letters, in French, was published in 1885. In 1799 he married Eudoxia Ivanovna Izmaïlov (a writer, whose nickname was Princess Midnight), the daughter of Ivan Mikhailovitch Izmaïlov and his wife, née Princess Alexandra Borissovna Youssoupov. Among the numerous honors and positions held by Prince Serge Mikhailovitch Galitzine were: lieutenant in the Izmaïlovsky regiment (1789); chamberlain (1797); honorary guardian (1807); director general of Moscows Galitzinsky Hospital (from 1807); curator of the Department of Public Instruction of the Moscow district (1830); president of the tutelary Council of the City of Moscow (1830; Member of the Council of the Empire (1837); Private First Class Counselor (1852). Among his decorations were: the Orders of St. André, St. André with diamonds, St. Vladimir (1st class); the portrait of His Majesty Nicholas I embellished with diamonds and all the Russian Orders.
3 very good
DETAILS 9 slightly scratched
3 very good
HANDS 01 original
3* very good (overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense)
Experts' Overall Opinion