A late Louis XVI skeleton clock signed Ridel Paris

A late Louis XVI gilt bronze, enamel and painted marble
two-dial skeleton clock, signed Ridel Paris – circa 1790

Height: 50 cm. (19 ¾ in.)   Width: 28.5 cm. (11 ¼ in.)   Depth: 14.8 cm. (5 ¾ in.)

The upper dial indicates the phases of the moon.

The lower dial indicates the hours, minutes, seconds and date in Arabic numerals and the day of the week and corresponding planetary symbol, with pierced and engraved gilt brass and blued steel hands. The circular movement has an ankle escapement and knife-suspended sun pendulum and chimes the hours and half-hours by means of a count-wheel mounted on the back-plate.

Comparative Literature

Several similar clocks are known:

  • One at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, which has a decimal upper dial
  • One in the Diane Collection, described and illustrated in G. and A. Wannenes, Les plus belles pendules françaises de Louis XIV à l’Empire, Florence: Edizioni Polistampa, 2013, p. 299
  • Another in the Diane Collection, reproduced in P. Kjellberg, Encyclopédie de la pendule française, Paris: Editions de l’Amateur, 1997, pp. 318-319.