Louis XV Boulle clock with Quarter Repeat Facility
Louis XV Tortoiseshell Boulle Timepiece with Silent pull quarter repeat by St.Martin, Paris. C.1720
Waisted case with fine ormolu mounts and cut brass inlay to the stained tortoiseshell with mother of pearl and coloured floral decoration. Gilded top surmounted by a cherub feeding through a straw from a scallop shell over leafy corner mounts. Shaped bead-bordered glazed door applied with an apron mount of a child chromos holding a sandglass and staff, set within a leafy trail surround. Brass lined recessed arch windows to the sides, the interior of the case with symmetrical Rococo panel veneered rear door over radial parquetry tile decorated canted door standing on acanthus scroll ormolu feet.
Eight day movement of fine quality with rounded lower angles to both brass plates united by four baluster turned pillars pinned through the backplate, signed Saint Martin a Paris. Tic-Tac anchor escapement with rare offset pallets and silk suspended pendulum. The quarter repeat pull wind mechanism sounding the hours and quarters on a nest of three bells contained within the superstructure of the case on demand.
Five and a half inch circular thirteen piece blue on white enamel Roman numeral cartouche dial with enamel centre and applied enamel plate carrying the signature Saint Martin, Paris and finely cut blued steel hands.
This fine Boulle clock uses a silent pull quarter repeat mechanism which is designed to sound the hours and quarters only on demand (and does not strike automatically during normal operation) this form of repeat mechanism is thought to have been designed for use in the bedchamber, and as such would have been supplied to an extremely wealthy client who could afford such a luxury. English silent pull quarter repeating table clocks are scarce, French examples are even rarer.
The Dictionnaire Des Horologers by Tardy lists Antoine St Martin as working from the Rue Des Fosses St-Germain c.1715. Brian Loomes in his book Watchmakers and clockmakers of the world lists Saint Martin as working in Paris c.1710