A Louis XV elephant clock by Baillon
A Louis XV gilt and patinated bronze elephant clock,
the dial signed J Baptiste Baillon, the movement signed
J B Baillon à Paris N° 1581 – circa 1740-1744
Jean-Baptiste Baillon, maître in 1727
Height: 42 cm. (16 ¾ in.) Width: 34 cm. (13 ½ in.) Depth: 19 cm. (7 ½ in.)
The enamel dial bearing the signature, with Roman numerals indicating the hours and Arabic numerals the minutes with pierced and engraved gilt brass hands. The circular movement engraved with the signature and numbered 1581 has an anchor escapement and silk-thread suspension and strikes the hours and half-hours by means of a count-wheel mounted on the back-plate.
The gallery’s archives record Baillon’s earliest numbered elephant clock movement as N° 1119 and the latest as N° 3666. Bearing N° 1581, this is an early example, pre-dating those marked with the crowned ‘C’ poinçon from 1745-1749.
An identical clock signed J. Baptiste Baillon in the Spanish Royal Collections is reproduced in J. Ramón Colón de Carvajal, Catálogo de Relojes del Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, Editorial du Patrimonio Nacional, 1987, p. 23, no. 4.