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Arsené Margaine, Paris - A rare Carriage Clock with David Keys Winding

A Corniche carriage clock with a rare form of underside winding, not seen previously, and reminiscent of that used by Leroy on several their clocks, but with some differences. Although unsigned as such, this example was made in the Arsené Margaine workshops as can be seen from the style of winding arrow, the type of regulation index engraving and the font used for the wording Aiguilles. Another almost identical Corniche example, numbered 12931, is in a collection of a friend in Australia, but with the addition of the Margaine trademark to the backplate, as well as being signed on the dial for David Keys, 91 Piccadilly, London along with Paris Made. His example has the same dial and hands, as well as all the same style of backplate markings confirming that these were indeed from the Margaine workshops. The eight-day duration movement strikes the hours and half-hours on a gong with a push button repeat of the last hour at will. The backplate is stamped with the serial number 13170. The winding arbors have attached large toothed wheels which connect through the base to two butterfly wheels, which when turned wind both the going and striking trains alleviating the need to open the rear door or use a key. The circular winders to the underside are stamped with the number 70, along with Patent No. 2886, DKEYS, and fold open to create a semi-circular handle to allow for winding. The white enamel dial has black Roman numerals and blued steel moon hands. The Corniche case is of a style typical of Margaine, with relatively bold three-bale handle and slightly softer corners. Knowing that the other known example is signed on the dial for David Keys would confirm that the DKeys as stamped on the winding handles on this piece, along with the patent number 2886, is indeed his patent and he had these clocks made for him by Margaine. 7 inches (handle up): 5¼ inches (handle down) Note: Case being restored at present with new images to be published on completion. Please click on images to enlarge: Any additional images are shown below

Arsené Margaine

Francois Arsené Margaine was a fine carriage clock maker who worked in Paris at rue Bondy, 54 having had various addresses in the city. He bought his blancs roulants from both Saint Nicolas d'Aliermont and the Franche Comte. For   a   comprehensive   history   of   Margaine,   his   clocks   and   working   practices   see   Antiquarian   Horology,    the   journal   of   the Antiquarian   Horological   Society,    June   2014,   pages   807   to   826   inclusive;   The   Horological   World   of   Francois   Arsené   Margaine    by Tom Wotruba. David Keys David   Keys,   born   1813,   is   known   to   have   been   working   at   14   Craven   Street,   London   in   1858   and   then   number   15   from   circa 1873   until   at   least   1887,   the   year   of   his   death,   with   retail   premises   at   91,   Piccadilly,   the   business   having   been   taken   over   by his   son   William.   They   are   recorded   as   making   deck   watches   for   the   Admiralty   between   1892   and   1897   and   used   Eiffe’s auxiliary   and   Airy’s   compensation   balances.   As   a   maker   of   fine   watches,   David   Keys   took   out   a   patent,   alongside   John Chalfont   of   Islington,   in   December   1861,   No.   3160,   for   keyless   winding   of   fusee   watches,   and   another   in   September   1865, numbered 2330 and it may well be an adaption of this system as used on this clock. William died in 1899 at the age of forty.

Price: On Application

Ref: D477

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