Eight-day French mantel clock in ormolu case, by Frederic Duval, Paris, c.1785. Two-train, four pillar going-barrel movement with anchor escapement and Brocot pendulum suspension. Originally the movement had count-wheel half-hour striking on a bell, mostly now removed. The back plate is engraved: “Frederic Duval AParis”. 9cm diameter convex white enamel dial with black roman numerals and arabic five-minute figures, with gold spots on the minute circle at the hours. Signed as back plate in the dial centre, and with regulation squareat XII. Pierced gilt-brass hands. Ormolu case in the form of a truncated, fluted pillar, standing on a square base and encircled by a laurel wreath at the base and around the dial. The rear of the base is stamped: “OSMOND”. The dial is covered with a convex glass in an ormolu bezel. The case is surmounted by an ormolu urn with swags. A portion of the fluted pillar at the rear, unlatches and removes to expose the movement. Note: The movement would originally have had a silk pendulum suspension. Unfortunately the whole of the striking work, except the barrel arbor, has been removed from this movement at some stage. Frederic Duval is recorded as a clockmaker working in Paris in rue Mazarine in 1777-8 and in rue Jacob in1781. Robert Osmond was a celebrated fondeur (maker of fine cast metal objects) of Paris (working in rue Maclou in 1773) who worked for most of the great Parisian clockmakers of the day.
By descent, until the death in 1952 of the 3rd Lord Leconfield, who had given Petworth to the National Trust in 1947, and whose nephew and heir, John Wyndham, 6th Lord Leconfield and 1st Lord Egremont (1920-72) arranged for the acceptance of the major portion of the collections at Petworth in lieu of death duties (the first ever such arrangement) in 1956 by H.M.Treasury.
Marks and inscriptions
Frederic Duval / Paris (engraved on mechanism inside)
Makers and roles
Frederic Duval, clockmaker