Guilmet Industrial Steam Hammer Clock Circa 1870


A late 19th Century black patinated and lacquered brass industrial mystery/novelty clock in the form of a steam hammer by André Romain Guilmet.
France, circa 1870

Height: 18 inches (45.75 cm)
Width: 12 inches (30.5 cm)
Depth: 6 inches (15.25 cm)

A similar clock was offered in Sotheby’s 1993 Meraux Clock Collection Sale, Lot #35
Derek Roberts, Mystery & Novelty Clocks, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, USA, 1999, ch.21.

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The reciprocating hammer head is the clock’s pendulum and the motion is achieved by a complex transmission from the escape wheel of a French “pendule de Paris”.

The first steam hammer was invented by James Naysmyth who was a contemporary of Guilmet. Guilmet’s fascination with all things industrial as well as horological prompted him to make a clock modeled on Naysmith’s hammer

It is interesting to note that Guilmet was also a prolific inventor who took out many patents and it was he who in 1868, first placed a driving chain on a bicycle, such that it would drive the rear wheel in the manner that we are still familiar with today.

Here then is a very collectible and fully restored example of one of these relatively rare and interesting pieces by Guilmet. Marked on the backplate Medaille D’or/GLT/SGDG/PARIS and bearing Guilmet’s number 764. It also strikes the hour and half hour on a bell.

Financing is available on request via Art Money.

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