A fine and large Conical Pendulum Clock surmounted by a classically-draped figure of Urania, the Greek Muse of astronomy, holding the globe lacquered and gilded pendulum that shows the continents, with a silvered equator band with signs of the zodiac. The multi-stepped black slate base with gilt line decoration raises on pierced feet.
Conical Pendulum Characteristic
The Conical pendulum bob has a continuous circular motion and thus requires no escapement. A conventional pendulum swings from side to side; a distinctive characteristic is the slow continual circular motion at a constant speed of the noiseless pendulum, tracing a conical trajectory in space, hence its name.
The figure of Urania is made of bronze, chiselled and gilded with excellent workmanship and signed by the bronze artist Paul Emile Machault (France, 1800 - 1866); this aspect is significant, generally, many of these clocks are not made of bronze but of antimony. Farcot clocks like this stand out for their artistic excellence and the very high quality of the materials used.
Henri-Eugène-Adrien Farcot (20 February 1830 in Sainville – 14 March 1896 in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés) was a French clock-maker, industrialist, inventor, mechanical-engineer, aeronaut, occasional writer and one of the most celebrated conical pendulum clockmakers.
In 1853 he established the Manufacture d’Horlogerie E. Farcot with headquarters, from 1855 (previously in rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75, Paris), in rue des Trois-Bornes, 39, Paris, wherein he worked until his retirement in the late 1880s.
The great International Exhibitions of the 19th attracted millions of visitors; allowed craftsperson from every discipline to showcase their absolute best to a global audience that included royalty and the social elite. The London Exhibition of 1862 brought together over 28,000 exhibitors from 36 countries and over 6 million visitors. During this event, Eugène Farcot introduced his conical pendulum clock to the world, obtaining great success for its realization.
Throughout his career, Eugène Farcot got four medals in the following expositions: Besançon 1860 (bronze), London 1862 (honourable mention), Paris (1863 bronze, 1867 bronze & 1878 silver), as well as Henri Vandenberg, both with a silver medal in Paris 1889 and a gold medal in Paris 1900.
In 1861, Farcot first employed a conical pendulum in a clock and subsequently produced a series of such timepieces.
Twin barrels with rack strike on the bell, the last pinion in the going train extended through the top of the case to engage with the pendulum; winding key. The movement is marked with Eugène Farcot stamping with a star over an anchor and shield, numbered 11778. The clock mechanism works perfectly.