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A rare and unusual table clock. The clock is protected by a glass shade and stands on a green marble base, which means that the movement is fully visible. It has a porcelain moonphase dial at the top of the movement surmounted by a star shaped pointer. There is then a globe finial on one side and an astrolabe finial on the other. There are three porcelain dials for day of the week, day of the month and the four seasons. The latter dial with nicely painted scenes for each of the four seasons.
The main dial has Roman numerals, and months of the year showing the days within each month, which has a separate blued steel pointer. The main clock hands are of gilded brass. At the bottom of the dial area are two individual porcelain plaques with Le Roy on one and à Paris on the other. The dial itself is signed Le Roy Hger de roi.
The whole movement stands on four turned pillars which themselves are fixed to the marble base. The 14 day movement has count wheel strike with the count wheel mounted on the backplate, and is signed on the backplate for the maker B. C. Le Roy, Hger Palais – Royal, No 68, à Paris. The movement has a silk suspended pendulum with up and down adjustment via an unusual geared handle mounted at the top of the movement. The whole movement has a number of interesting and unusual features for powering the moonphase and calendar work.
Height to top of clock: 16.5″ (42 cm)
Height to top of glass shade: 18″ (46 cm)
Width: 8.25″ (21 cm)
Depth: 5″ (12.5 cm)
Le Roy, later L. Leroy & Cie, now Leroy.
Paris, Galerie Montpensier, 13 & 15 Palais Royal and also London.
The business was founded by Basile Charles Le Roy, circa 1785. Soon after the Revolution he occupied Galerie Montpensier, 13 & 15 Palais Royal. After his death in 1828 the business was carried on by his son Charles-Louis. It was sold in 1845 to Desfontaines who kept the name ‘Le Roy & Fils’.
In 1889 Louis Leroy (son of Théodore Marie Leroy) became a partner in the firm. The name then became ‘Ancienne Maison Le Roy & Fils, L. Leroy & Cie Successeurs’. In due course, and certainly by 1900, the reference to Ancienne Maison Le Roy & Fils was dropped.
In 1895 Leon Leroy, brother of Louis, entered the firm and in 1899 the business moved to 7 Boulevard de la Madeleine. In 1938 L. Leroy & Cie moved to 4 Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
We understand that Le Roy had a retail outlet at 57 Bond Street for one year only, that year being 1885.
Early clocks by L. Leroy & Cie are often signed in block capital letters on the edge of the right side of the back movement plate where the number of the clock also appears.
For more information see ‘Carriage Clocks’ by Allix & Bonnert.