A rare French Industrial locomotive automaton clock by Guilmet, circa 1890
8-day movement with half hour striking, gilt and patinated bronze case incorporating a barometer, thermometer and compass.
8.5-cm chapter ring with Arabic numerals, gilt centre and blued hands, 8-day spring-driven movement with lever escapement, rack half hour striking on a bell, placed in a bronze locomotive, the boiler with aneroid barometer and funnel applied with thermometer and compass, the wheel driven by a separate mechanism with a duration of circa 2 hours, placed on a rectangular black marble base with brass feet and rails.
The French firm of Guilmet made a series of clocks with a industrial theme. The designs celebrating the accomplishments of the industrial revolution. A range of steamhammers, lighthouses, boilers, steamengines etc were made. The larger models often with automata like this one. One of the largest and most striking models is this train. It looks realistic and very nice when the wheels with their excentric beams are turning. A definite conversation piece. The former owner inherited this fine piece from his grandfather who purchased the clock when new.
For further information and illustrations read; Derek Roberts, Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks, Atglen PA USA, 1999, pp. 253- 270.
Our everlasting quest to find special clocks caused us to come across this remarkable clock. It was made by the Guilmet firm famous for their Industrial clocks, heralding the industrial revolution. One of the larger and most attractive models being this Locomotive. Besides the barometer, thermometer and compass this clock actually has a separate mechanism turning the wheel of the locomotive. Bought from the grandson of the first owner this piece is in a remarkable original condition. The few seen before by us often had replaced parts like the funnel or a lacking its wheel mechanism. Or these clocks had refinished patina which does take some history away from these pieces. From our experience we find that almost everybody who looks at it gets a smile on his face or has something to say. Because of quality this clock isn’t just a lovely piece to look at, but a sure ‘conversation piece’.