Project Description

31880 VICTORIEN BOSEET (BOUSSET), NO 618.

A RARE AND COMPLEX GRANDE SONNERIE CARRIAGE CLOCK WITH FLY BACK CALENDAR BY THIS EXCEPTIONAL MAKER, RETAILED BY TIFFANY & CO.  CIRCA 1880.

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A very beautiful, complex and rare carriage clock.  The Anglaise style case has a reeded carrying handle and dentil mouldings to the top and bottom of the main part of the case.  The corner columns are reeded and the clock has a deep base in which the gongs and hammers are housed.

The dials are contained within a beautifully engraved mask.  There is a main enamel dial with Roman numerals and Arabic outer numerals signed for the retailer ‘Tiffany & Co’.  It has Breguet style hands.  There are three additional enamel dials, two at the top and one at bottom centre, showing the months of the year, the day of the month and at the bottom the alarm dial.  To either side of the alarm dial there are two silvered brass dials, one with a small thermometer showing the temperature in Fahrenheit.  This was probably requested by the retailers as all other illustrated clocks by Boseet have the temperature in Centigrade. The dial to the right, again of silvered brass, is the fly back calendar for the days of the week.

The movement is obviously hugely complex and of the finest quality.  It has a fine silvered lever platform escapement with split bi-metallic balance and poising screws.  In common with the other known clocks by Boseet, it has a lot of the striking work mounted on the backplate which is stamped with the heart shaped trademark with ‘VB’ inside it and numbered 618.  Inside the back door is a further engraved glass panel which acts not only to help protect the movement from dust but, more importantly, enables the descriptions of the multitude of winding and setting arbors to be engraved on it.  On top of the clock are three push buttons.  The centre one being the standard strike repeat button, and the ones at either side being the setting buttons for the month and the date. The alarm and fly back calendar are set via arbors on the backplate.  The clock can be set to silent, grande sonnerie or petite sonnerie via a further arbor, again on the backplate.

The clock comes complete with leather travel case.

Height to base of handle: 6.5″ (16 cm)

The maker Victorien Boseet was not particularly prolific and few clocks by him are known.  There is speculation as to whether Victorien Boseet and Victorien Bousset are one and the same person, see page 433 of Carriage Clocks by Allix & Bonnert.  A bronze medal was won at the 1878 Paris Exhibition and the Review Chronometrique of June 1880 especially mentions Victorien Bousset as an important maker of very good and complicated carriage clocks.

Further reading – Examples of Boseet’s work can be found in Carriage & Other Travelling Clocks by Derek Roberts pages 222 & 223, Carriage Clocks by Allix & Bonnert pages 203 & 204 and A Century of Fine Carriage Clocks by Joseph Fanelli pages 112 and 113.

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Victorien Boseet, No 618: Price £20,500

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