Davy Lamp Clock, Barometer, Thermometer by Guilmet


Although unsigned this is probably the work of André Romaine Guilmet. Dating from c.1885, this Davy Lamp clock is one of a series of novelty clocks with an industrial theme that he designed in the 1880s. The design allowed Guilmet to incorporate a timepiece clock, barometer and thermometer and even a compass.

Presented in exceptionally good condition, and in guaranteed working order, the case has been restored to its original finish. The majority of the case is gold-plated, with the cylinders housing the clock, thermometer and barometer all silver-plated. This give an interesting contrast of colours.

The upper turret features a glass cylinder, the base of which is set with a small compass.

The three instruments housed within the centre are a timepiece 8-day clock, a thermometer and an aneroid  barometer. The dials are silvered chapter rings, black painted and in excellent condition. Each is protected by beveled glass.

The clock dial has Roman hour numerals within a track, and Arabic 5-minute numerals outside the track. A regulation slot at XII is marked S (slower) and F (faster). The matching blued steel hands are unusually styled and delicately crafted. The eight-day movement has a cylinder platform escapement. The backplate is numbered 2720, matching case stamps in various places.

The aneroid barometer dial ring is graded over 5 inches of pressure, with the usual weather predictions.

The thermometer is particularly fine, having a delicate crescent mercury tube on a dial ring garden in degrees Reaumur and degrees Fahrenheit.

The case is raised on pad feet and surmounted with a carrying ring.

André Romain Guilmet

André Romain Philéas Guilmet was an inventor, best known for his mystery clocks in which a female holds her hand outstretched; pivoted on the hand is a clock pendulum which appears to have no impulse. He took out a number of patents between 1853 and 1887, some horological, others not. Some were in conjunction with other inventors, such as the bicycle chain (developed with Edouard Myer in 1868).

He also produced a series of clocks of an industrial nature between c.1875 and the 1910s including the lighthouse,  the steam hammer, beam engine automaton, and mortar clocks.Not all were signed by Guilmet – in fact very many were not.

Derek Roberts’ book, “Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks” has a chapter on Guilmet’s novelty clocks. Fig 22-116 illustrates the Davy lamp clock.

Guilmet’s industrial clocks are novelty clocks of the highest standard.

The clock movement will be fully overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

A Davy lamp is a safety lamp invented by Sir Humphry Davy in 1815, the wick flame protected by a mesh screen.

Because of the mercury thermometer tube, I regret we cannot ship this clock by air.


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Ref: JJ Davy lamp

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