A fine French Louis XVI ormolu mounted white marble mantel clock, Gille L’ainé, circa 1770
The 10-cm enamel dial has Roman numerals for the hours and is numbered for the five minutes. The centre is signed Gille L’ainé A Paris. The finely pierced and engraved hands are of a very good quality.
The movement is driven by two spring barrels and has a duration of eight days. It is regulated by anchor escapement in combination with a silk suspended pendulum. The clock strikes the whole and half hours on a bell by means of countwheel.
The arched white marble case which is surmounted by an ornamental urn with trailing acanthus leaves. To the sides there are beautiful hornes of plenty with trailing flowers. To the front there is a flambeau in between scrolling leaves. The break front oval base incorporates a geometrical floral ornament and is placed on turned feet. The whole on a similar shaped plinth. All bronze work is of very good quality.
Gille L’ainé, the clockmaker
There are several clockmakers with the name Gille. This signature probably refers to Piere Gille who became master clockmaker in 1746. He worked at several addresses Rue St-Martin, Rue St-Denis and the Rue St-Ours. He worked until circa 1780. (Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français pp. 256.)