Jacques Nève

Jacques Nève is an clockmaker and has been a member of the CNES (Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en objets d’art et de collection) since 2009. His workshop is located in Braine-le-Château, Belgium.

Jacques Nève offers a selection of clocks dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, carefully selected in terms of quality, originality and historical provenance.

The expert horlogist Jacques Nève also provides confidential appraisals for estate settlements, division of family property, insurance coverage and sales purposes. Certificates of authenticity can be provided on request.

Countries
  • Belgium
Objects "Jacques Nève"

Cartel Sarton

French Wall Cartel « Mask of Apollo », from a model by Osmond. Ormolu, Louis XVI-period, circa 1785. Two-train movement, with anchor recoil escapement of the tic-tac type and silk-suspended pendulum. Half-hourly strike on a sivered bell, with countwheel. Two-weeks autonomy. Enamel dial with Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic numerals for the five-minutes intervals. Red signature h. Sarton A LIEGE. Very finely cut, engraved and gilt brass hands. Fire-gilded bronze case of architectural form with acanthus leave garlands and ribbons. Fire-urn on top and pomegranate at the bottom. H. 71 cm (28"), W. 36 cm (14"), D. 13 cm (5"), founder, bronzier, was established rue Maclou in Paris in 1773, he made cases for the most renowned Parisian clockmakers: Lepaute, Robin, Charles Le Roy, etc…, (1748-1828), horologist to the court of princes. Hubert SARTON (1748-1828) lived during a momentous period in history. A product of the Enlightenment, he was also a precursor of the industrial age. Furthermore he was fortunate enough to grow up and live in Liège, which at the time was one of the most dynamic artisan and industrial centres in Europe. Very little has been written about him, yet his contribution to the art of horology is of great importance. He began learning the trade working for his uncle Dieudonné Sarton in 1762, where he demonstrated a remarkable talent for the mechanical sciences. After completing a four-year apprenticeship in Paris at the workshop of Pierre Leroy, eldest son of Julien and brother of Jean-Baptiste Leroy, he returned to Liège in 1772 as Master Clockmaker. Soon after he was appointed ‘Court Clockmaker’ to Duke Charles Alexander of Lorraine, Governor General of Austrian Netherlands, then, as ‘First Mechanic’ to Prince Bishop François-Charles de Velbrück, he enjoyed the benefits of a privileged position which extended his reputation well beyond the Principality of Liège. He also played a civic role being appointed Commissioner and Treasurer of the city of Liège in 1783. In a report published in 1789, the workshop of Hubert Sarton is described in terms that reflect the diversity and quality of his work, as well as his concern for innovation: “At HUBERT SARTON in Liège and Spa, one finds a most comprehensive assortment of clocks and watches, in the latest styles, like gold and silver watches of all kinds […]. One also finds a beautiful assortment of clocks from the most simple to the most complex.” Eleven years later, the French Revolutionary troops stormed Liège putting an end to Austrian rule. It is hard to ascertain exactly what consequences this historic event had on Hubert Sarton’s career. It appears from that time forward he concentrated on the production of skeleton clocks in a variety of models. The number of clocks produced suggests that Sarton certainly managed a large workshop with numerous employees – although no documentation has survived to either confirm or contradict this. Famous for inventing the automatic watch based on a rotor principle, for which he filed a patent at the French Academy of Sciences in 1778, Hubert Sarton created a variety of timepieces throughout his career – Louis XV cartels, Louis XVI mantle clocks, lyre mantle clocks, pendules de compagnie (company clock or waiting-room clock) skeleton clocks and regulators – all equally remarkable for their extraordinary quality and diversity. At once a devoted horologist, mechanic and inventor, Hubert Sarton was one of the major figures of horology in late eighteenth-century Liège. An enlightened man of his time, keen on progress and innovation, his considerable career unfolds as a long series of developments. Having successfully advanced all branches of his trade, this able mechanic dedicated to the art of horology became a master of his art, as witnessed in the exceptional quality and great refinement of his production. Tardy Dictionnaire des horlogers français, Paris, 1972; Jean-Dominique Augarde Les Ouvriers du Temps, La Pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier, Genève 1996; Florent Pholien L'Horlogerie et ses Artistes au Pays de Liége, 1933; Ann Chevalier et André Thiry L'Age d'Or de l'Horlogerie Liégeoise, 2003; Jacques Nève Les pendules d'Hubert Sarton, 1748-1828, Horloger-Mécanicien, Inventeur, mémoire présenté en 2009 à la Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en Meubles, Estampes, Livres, Objets d'Art et de Collection, Paris, 2009. Dictionnaire des horlogers français, Les Ouvriers du Temps, La Pendule à Paris de Louis XIV à Napoléon Ier, L'Horlogerie et ses Artistes au Pays de Liége, L'Age d'Or de l'Horlogerie Liégeoise, Les pendules d'Hubert Sarton, 1748-1828, Horloger-Mécanicien, Inventeur, Brussels, Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire ; Mons, Musée François Duesberg ; Liège, Musée Curtius et Musée d’Ansembourg ; Vienna, Uhrenmuseum. € 14,500Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
12 400 GBP

Manberger

Carriage Clock with Simulated-Bamboo Case signed Enrique Manberger Madrid, mid- to late 19th Century. The movement with maltese crosses on both winders and alarum, for better timekeeping, English-style crabtooth-escapement platform with cut bi-metallic balance wheel and gold adjusting screws. Hourly and half-hourly gong strike with repeat feature by a button on top of the case. Alarum striking the same gong. Eight-days autonomy. Hexagonal dials, with nickelled and gilded ‘bamboo’ borders, on a silvered and gilt-brass ground reminiscent of ivory. Porcelain dials with Arabic numerals, each within a finely crafted cartouche. Arbalète or ‘crossbow’ blued-steel hands indicating the hours, minutes and the alarm on the subsidiary dial. Signature Enrique Manberger MADRID (clockmaker/retailer); produced in France. The case, with bevelled glass on five sides allows view of entire movement, assembled with intersecting ‘bamboo poles’, gilded and nickelled for a nice contrast-enhancing effect. Original leather storage box; original double-ended winding key. Height with handle upright: 19.5 cm (7 ½ in); Width: 10 cm (3 7/8 in); Depth: 9 cm (3 ½ in). LP is the signature of Paris-based clockmaker Louis-Auguste Pointeaux (1809-1885). He invented a coup perdu escapement that was used on mantel clocks with half-seconds beating pendulums, and some very sophisticated travelling clocks with up to 12 winding holes (!). He exhibited in London in 1852. He created the large longcase clock, presently at rue de Rivoli in Paris, for the firm C. Detouche. He was established at Rue Chérubini from 1850 to 1880. coup perdu, Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers français, (Paris, 1972); Derek Roberts, Carriage and Other Travelling Clocks, (Shiffer, Atglen, 1993). € 6500.-Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
5 600 GBP

Parkinson & Frodsham

Bracket clock with precision visible deadbeat escapement, signed Parkinson & Frodsham, LONDON. George III Period, circa 1810. Movement with two fusees and gutline transmission, Graham-type precision deadbeat escapement visible from the rear, spring suspended pendulum with adjustment above the bob, the rod made of pine wood for minimizing the temperature disturbance. Hourly rack strike on a vertical bronze bell at the rear, with pull-repeat on the right-hand side. Finely engraved rear plate. Autonomy 8 days. Painted dial with black Roman numerals for the hours, on white background. Subsidiary dial for the seconds below the numeral XII. Finely cut blued steel hands. Oak case with ebonized pear tree veneer with varnished applied bronze lining and accessories. Front and side panels finely cut in the fish scales fashion, with red silk back lining, allowing for the sound to go through while keeping the dust outside. Ormolu feet, handle and bezel. Height 41 cm (16”), Width 28 cm (11”), Depth 19 cm (7 ½”), William PARKINSON and William James FRODSHAM were associated for fifty years, between the years 1800 and 1850. First established in Liverpool, then in London, they had an excellent reputation as clockmakers, as well as marine chronometer makers. Their workshop continued to produce fine timepieces right up to 1947. Richard Barder, The Georgian Bracket Clock 1714-1830, 1993; G.H.Baillie, Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, 1925; F.J.Britten, Old Clocks and Watches & Their Makers, 1904; Tony Mercer, Chronometer Makers of the World, revised edition 2004. € 9.500,-Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
8 100 GBP

Albert Haute Precision Table Regulator and Galvanometer

Precision Table Regulator and Galvanometer, Masterpiece from Albert Haute In 1933 And 1934, Brussels Professional School of Precision Mechanics and Electricity. Extremely robust construction movement with thick plates and four large turned pillars screwed on both sides, Graham escapement, steel suspension powered by a mainspring in a barrel allowing for a two-week autonomy. Pine wood rod pendulum with micrometric crutch adjustment, graduated adjustment on the heavy brass bob.The plates nicely machined and marble patterned. Large silvered dial with Roman numerals for the hours, bearing the signature ECOLE PROFESSIONELLE DE MÉCANIQUE DE PRÉCISION ET D'ELECTRICITÉ DE BRUXELLES, ALBERT HAUTE 1933. Two blued steel hands, with polished conical washer at the center;, The galvanometer accompanying the clock is also entirely made by the scholar, and signed ALBERT HAUTE 1934, which seems to indicate that the scholar followed an extra specialisation course on the manufacture of instruments for one year. It is extremely rare to find a clock and a scientific instrument (and in this case also a winding key with initials) all bearing the same signature. Only one other example is known to us, that of André De Jonghe 1922 (on the clock) and 1923 (on the galvanometer). A galvanometer is an electromechanical instrument for detecting and measuring electric current. H. 20" (51 cm), W. 14" (36 cm), D. 6 ¼" (16cm), The Brussels Professional School of Precision Mechanics and Electricity, that was to become later the Arts and Crafts School of Brussels, held the reputation of being one of the finest clock-making school in the World in the 20th Century years preceding the Second World War. As an end of school project, the students had to entirely manufacture a precision regulator of a given design. They were left with some liberties for some of the execution details, and these finished works were to become their masterpiece, that were to stay with them for the rest of their career, so as to demonstrate their skill, but also to regulate all the other time instruments that they would work on. Brussels Professional School of Precision Mechanics and Electricity, Arts and Crafts School of Brussels, € 6500.-Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
5 600 GBP

Jarossay

French Louis-Philippe period floorstanding regulator (circa 1840) of small size and shallow depth, signed "Chronomètre, système JAROSSAY" on the dial, and "Jarossay à Paris" on the graduated levelling brass plate situated below the pendulum. Mahogany veneered and mahogany case, plain base and removable top plinth, hiding the winding mechanism. Dial with Roman numerals and very fine micrometric graduation with Arab numerals marking the five minutes, allowing for accurate time reading with a very precise hour hand only, a sweeping seconds hand has its own smaller dial below XII. High precision movement with Graham dead-beat escapement with low amplitude, the force provided with a weight and counterweight hung with an endless rope through a system of six pulleys (2 mobile and 4 fixed). Large polished brass pendulum bob hung by a oval-section steel pendulum rod with precise regulation below. The temperature compensation is achieved through a highly unusual and simple system: a second rod identical to the pendulum's is fixed from the bottom and pushes a lever that will in turn indirectly increase the pendulum's length when the temperature rises. Chronomètre, système JAROSSAY, Jarossay à Paris, H : 73" (185 cm) ; W: 15 ¼" (39 cm) ; D: 6 ½” (16,5 cm), The Parisian clockmaker Louis-Antoine Jarossay (1780-1859) was the son of Urbain Jarossay, also clockmaker in Paris for the Comte d'Artois. The latter installed the turret clock of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church on behalf of Jean-André Le Paute (1720-1789) in 1781. Louis-Antoine Jarossay was renowned for his ability to make high quality domestic regulators and is often recognised as one of the more inventive clockmakers of the 19th Century. He is also known to have used endless screw gears in horology, a technology that he studied in depth. He patented the double-mainspring pulley in 1844 and the use of wormscrews in 1850. This latter invention allowed him to substantially reduce the costs of manufacture without sacrificing quality nor precision. Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers français ; The Art of Horology in France, catalogue Antiquorum 1993. € 25.000,-Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
21 400 GBP

R.A.F WWII Sector Clock

Mahogany wall fusee timepiece for the Royal Air Force, "Operations Room Clock", dated and stamped 1938. Painted flat dial with Arabic numerals for the five minutes on the outer ring, the minute graduations, the twelve hours within the coloured triangles, and the 24 hours on the inner ring. Old style King's Crown RAF Warrant Officer's insignia below the number 24, blued steel hands, cast bezel, painted black outside and silvered inside, turned black tinted mahogany outer with a flat thick bevelled glass. Single chain fusee movement with rectangular plates united by four massive screwed pillars, recoil anchor escapement. Autonomy 8 days. Originally known as "colour change clocks", they were introduced during the First World War by the Royal Flying Corps in 1917 to monitor the movements of German aircraft. Later, during the Second World War they played a significant role in the Battle of Britain and continued to be used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Observer Corps (ROC) as simple clocks and keepsakes, until the end of the Cold War period. The Sector Clock was a fundamental part of Ground-controlled interception before modern computerized systems were put in place for airspace control. The clock dial is marked with five-minute red, yellow and blue triangular segments. It has an outer 12-hour ring and an inner 24-hour dial. Aircraft position was recorded along with the colour of the triangle beneath the minute hand at the time of sighting. This was reported to sector headquarters, where counters of the relayed colour were used to represent each air raid on a large table with a map of the UK overlaid with a British Modified Grid. As the plots of the raiding aircraft moved, the counters were pushed across the map by magnetic "rakes". This system enabled "Fighter Controllers" to see very quickly where each formation was heading and allowed an estimate to be made of possible targets. The age of the information was readily apparent from the colour of the counter. Because of the simplicity of the system, decisions could be made quickly and easily. It was possible, according to reports from system veterans, to have fighters in the air and on their way to an intercept within five minutes of the initial contact. Without the simple yet elegant time coding system devised by the RAF, the British might not have been so successful in holding control of the skies over Britain during the crucial Battle of Britain as well as later in the war. External diameter 18 ½ ” (47 cm), dial diameter 14” (36cm), overall depth 7 1/2 ” (19cm), T.W.Elliott Ltd, T.W.Elliott Ltd: the firm of Elliott’s started in 1886 with James Jones Elliott, having served his apprenticeship with Bateman of Smithfield, naming the company J.J.Elliott Ltd, at Percival St, Clerkenwell. James’ son and successor Frank sold off the name in 1923, amalgamated with the firm Gillett & Johnson Ltd to form the company now known as F.W.Elliott Ltd, taking over all the domestic production from Gillett’s. Frank’s three sons all joined the company, Horace in 1919, Ronald in 1929 and Leonard in 1946. At the outbreak of WWII in 1939 the production of clocks was temporarily reduced and the factory made test gear and apparatus for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines used on Spitfire aeroplanes. Frank Westcombe Elliott died in 1944, aged 69. The company still makes quality clocks and is based in Hastings. Ronald E Rose, English Dial Clocks, Antique’s Collectors’Club, revised and reprinted 2000; Wikipedia; Ned Frederick “The Clock that saved Great Britain”, € 9.500Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
8 100 GBP

Gilt Mirror with Regulator

Large gilt mirror for department stores with precision regulator, United States, circa 1870. Very unusual and large precision regulator in a gilt-framed wooden and stucco mirror, with shell and scrolls decorations above. The whole mirror is mounted on hinges, opening to the pine and hardwood case containing the massive cast-iron base of the clock movement and its accessories. Painted steel dial with Roman numerals for the hours and outside railing for the minutes and seconds. The three hands for the hours, minutes and seconds of blued steel, the seconds hand centre-sweeping. The movement specially made for this unusual decorative mirror, of two thick brass plates held by four turned iron pillars, with two main barrels for a more even and regular motion, powered by two cast-iron weights maintained by wo pulleys each, allowing them a running time of 33 days between windings. A simplified Maltese cross system – typical American Design – will stop overwinding on one end, or a drop of the weights to the bottom of the frame on the other end. Dead-beat Graham-type anchor escapement, steel suspension, polished brass-covered pendulum bob and pinewood pendulum rod. This regulator with a mirror frame, or mirror with a regulator, was very likely made as a special order for a Department Store or a commercial gallery of the period from the East Coast. The type of movement and the way of its fitting into the case is quite typical of American clockmaking of the second half of the 19th C, particularly in Boston or New York. th, Height 91ʺ (2m30), Width 30ʺ (77cm), Depth 11ʺ (28cm), € 9.500,-Read more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price
8 100 GBP

Erigone seduced by Bacchus

“Reclining Bacchante”, or "Erigone seduced by Bacchus", exceptional Empire-period Mantle Clock, Paris, circa 1810. Finely chased and gilded bronze, Vert-de-mer marble base with circular feet, movement with round plates and 4 pillars, anchor recoil escapement, and silk-suspended pendulum. Countwheel strike for the hours and half hours on a silvered bell. Autonomy 2 weeks. Lying on a daybed, a female bacchanal figure with a simple drape accentuating her hips holds aloft a cluster of grapes, bringing them voluptuously up to her lips. Arranged around her feet are a tambourine, thyrsus and two ewers – symbols of the Dionysian festivals. Rich ornamental bronze imagery – featuring two opposing lionesses on the façade, grape-filled baskets, a young goat on its hind legs, and musical trophies – occupies a significant part of the frieze décor. The dial signed à Paris is set into the frame of the daybed, the feet of which are in the form of hooves adorned with satyr masks. à Paris, This semi-reclining nymph figure, surrounded by bacchic attributes, makes reference to the tragic love story of Bacchus and Erigone. In the Metamorphosis, Ovid tells the tale of a peasant named Ikarios who lived with his daughter Erigone (“born with the dawn”). Ikarios, unaware of his guest’s identity, plays host to Bacchus, who, in exchange, presents him with a grape vine and teaches him how to transform the fruit into wine. Metamorphosis, Wanting to share this gift with the shepherds of Attica, Ikarios offers them a flask filled with wine, and not knowing its effects they proceed to drink without measure. Furious, and convinced that they have been poisoned, the shepherds club Ikarios to death, abandoning his corpse beneath a tree. Concerned about her father who had been missing for so many days and months, Erigone goes in search of him only to find his dead body. Inconsolable, the young girl hangs herself from the tree which marks her father’s burial place. Erigone is represented here under Love’s spell, in that one delightful moment when she succumbs to Bacchus, who, to seduce her transforms himself into a bunch of grapes. Characteristic of First Empire taste for moral themes of heroism and courage, this tragic subject is expressed here in all its beauty. In its time the ‘reclining bacchante’ theme was considered a decorative-art icon, serving as a model to various master clockmakers who appropriated it to create additional depictions. Among other known versions are three models closely related to ours, the dials respectively signed ‘Le Roy’, ‘Gérard à Paris’, and ‘Blanc fils palais Royal’. By virtue of its quality of the bronze work, our clock figures among the rarest of comparable examples. Le Roy’, ‘Gérard à Paris’, Blanc fils palais Royal’. Provenance: Private collection, Mulhouse, H. 20.4 in (52cm); W.19.3 in (49cm); D.7 in (18cm), Galle, Galle, Fabricant de bronzes et dorures, Rue Colbert no. 1, et Rue Vivienne no. 9 (as stated on his letterhead), became a master in 1786; official supplier to the Emperor furnishing the Royal Palaces of Fontainebleau, Les Tuileries, Compiègne and Rambouillet, he also received commissions for palaces outside France including the Quirinale in Rome and the Stupinigi in Turin. Established at no. 9 Rue Vivienne from 1806 to 1827, Galle grew to become one of the most celebrated bronze makers under Napoleon I. Both maker and retailer, his workshop, which employed almost 400 workers in 1811, was one of the largest in Paris. At the 1806 Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie, Claude Galle was awarded a bronze medal for his mantle clock Friendship concealing Time (L’amitié couvrant les heures), an example of which is now at the Musée du Château de Malmaison. Galle collaborated with Antoine-André Ravrio (1759-1814) and Jean Hauré (master in 1782) on several occasions – his connection with Hauré gave Galle the opportunity to create bronzes for some of Guillaume Benneman’s (1750-1811) cabinetry work intended for the Crown, like the commode with the Queen’s monogram, now housed at the Château de Compiègne. In 1823 Galle received a gold medal for his final participation at the Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie: “Mr. Galle, from Paris, was judged worthy of the gold medal in 1823 for his presentation of a pair of matching figures, a Gladiator and an Achilles, flawlessly executed in bronze; a very beautiful jaspe fleuri (speckled jasp agate) clock, and a vase decorated with gilt bronze work, the mounting of which is affixed by clips which don’t pierce the vase.” Certain works by Galle can be found today in numerous museum collections like those of the Musée National du Château de Malmaison and Musée Marmottan in Paris, the Munich Residenz, and the Victoria & Albert and the Wallace Collection in London. Claude Galle’s only son, Gérard-Jean Galle (1788 - 1846), took over the business. Fabricant de bronzes et dorures, Rue Colbert no. 1, et Rue Vivienne no. 9, Friendship concealing Time, L’amitié couvrant les heures), Gladiator, Achilles, jaspe fleuri, Michael Shapiro, ‘Monsieur Galle, Bronzier et Doreur’, The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, Vol. 6/7 (1978/1979), pp. 57-74; Louna Zek, ‘Bronzes d’ameublement et meubles français achetés par Paul Ier pour le château Saint-Michel de Saint-Pétersbourg en 1798-99’, Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art Français, 1994; Jean-Dominique Augarde, ‘Une nouvelle vision du bronze et des bronziers sous le Directoire et l'Empire’, L'Estampille-L’Objet d'art, January 2005, no. 398, p. 62-85. The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art Français, L'Estampille-L’Objet d'art, on requestRead more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price

Robert-Houdin Triple Mystery Clock

Jean Eugène ROBERT-HOUDIN, “Triple Mystery” Clock, Paris, circa 1850. Crystal, patinated and gilded bronze. Signed on the dial: Robert-Houdin/Paris. The circular dial, made from three clear glass plates of near-identical size, indicates the hours in Roman numerals and the minutes with precision indicators, with two arrow-shaped gilt-brass hands. The hours and signature are painted on the back of the first glass plate; the second glass plate contains the motion work in its center and moves with the hour hand, the third glass plate is the rear support of the assembly. The whole dial is contained by a gilt-brass surround that sits in a chased gilt-bronze mount supported by a crystal column terminating in three patinated-bronze griffins on a shallow ebony-simulated terrace decorated to end in gilt-bronze scrolls and grotesque motifs. Like the dial with multiple glass plates, the crystal column is actually made of two separate crystal tubes, the inner one being fitted with rotating wheels at both ends. A long rod with an endless screw is the link between the glass inner column and the removing middle dial, it is hidden within one of the decorative dial supports. Another such long rod with lantern pinions on both sides is hidden within one of the three griffins, and acts as the link between the movement and the crystal column. The movement, unable to be contained inside the base, is concealed within the circular black-lacquered pedestal bordered with fine brass fillets, the top covered in crimson velvet. It is made of two separate trains (one for the strike and the other for the time) with all wheels placed in a linear fashion so as two place them all in a narrow space. The movement ends with a platform escapement in a line, with Swiss-type escape wheel, and cut bi-metallic balance wheel. The strike is every hour and half hour on a coiled gong attached in the base and controlled by a countwheel. The movement is stamped E. Robert-Houdin and numbered 3857 on the winding side. The same very long brass key is used for winding and setting the hands through 3 holes at the rear of the base. Height 57 cm (22 ½ "), Diameter of dial: 12 cm (4 ½ "), Diameter of base: 26 cm (10 ¼ "). (Blois, 1805 – Saint-Gervais, 1871) Horologist, illusionist, stage artist. ‘I am inclined to believe’, noting in his biography “Confidences”, that I came into the world with a file, a compass or a hammer in my hand, for from my earliest youth, these instruments were my rattles, my toys; I seemed to use them as other children learned to walk and talk.’, All his life, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was ruled by his passion, or mania, to invent and perfect, never ceasing to surprise and fascinate; his scientific and technical innovations as well as his remarkable talent as a magician secured his place in history. The son of horologist Prosper Robert, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin was born in Blois on 7 December 1805. Established as an horologist in Paris around 1835, Jean Eugène began his training in his father’s workshop. Although Prosper Robert insisted that his son pursue a legal career, Jean Eugène preferred the domain of horology and began an apprenticeship under his cousin Jean Martin Robert, reputed to be the most skilful horologist in town. Blois, home to the kings of France since the Renaissance, was one of the major horological centres at the time – in 1700, there were no fewer than 200 clockmakers working there. It was also here, in his hometown, that Jean Eugène Robert met his future wife, Josépha Eglantine Houdin, daughter of the well-established Blois horologist, Jacques Houdin, a monumental clockmaker who was summoned to Paris in 1820 to work for Bréguet. In late 1829, Jean Eugène Robert began working for his future father-in-law as a clock dealer, and on 8 July 1830 married his daughter whose surname became inseparable from his own, hyphenating it from then on as Robert-Houdin; it was officially recognised by Prince-President Louis-Philippe in 1852. Shortly after his marriage, Robert-Houdin established himself in Paris where he became known for the construction of ingenious automata and machines of his own invention. He first settled at 63, rue du Temple, repairing clocks and watches. Nevertheless he continued to invent, creating a cabinet of curiosities where he would produce a series of completely new mechanical devices that were marvels of ingenuity. He was awarded numerous prizes and medals throughout his lifetime, including first-class bronze, silver and gold medals at the 1839, 1844, 1855 and 1859 French Industry and Universal Exhibitions. Among his first inventions was the alarm-lighter clock for which he filed a five-year patent on 20 September 1837 for ‘an alarm clock whose function was to have light upon waking.’ It was activated by a watch movement with verge escapement, which released a small candle at the chosen hour — the tip of which, filled with a substance similar to that of German matches, was lit through friction. The success was such that it proved to be a financial boon to Robert-Houdin for many years to come. This commercial success allowed him to move to 13 rue Vendôme, hire employees and devote himself to the construction of automata, among which were ‘The Player with the Beaker’, ‘The Dancer on a Cord’, ‘The Singing Birds’ and the creation of his first masterpiece of horology: the mystery clock. The latter, as we have seen, was the horological expression of his talent as illusionist and became an object of curiosity, highly sought after by amateurs and collectors alike. After this fruitful period, Robert Houdin devoted even more time to creating automata. At the Universal Exhibition of 1844, he exhibited on a circular platform his timepieces and other mechanical devices such as the ‘Writer-Drawer’, which King Louis-Philippe himself admired, and was finally sold for $4000 to the famous American showman, P. T. Barnum. Once again, the Central Jury confirmed his success, awarding him a silver medal for all his inventions. He continued to invent, the list of which includes innovative devices like the electric distributer, electric regulator clock, a mechanism to detect leaks on ships, an electric plastron for fencers, a speedometer for automobiles…. without forgetting his famous “magic clock” invented in 1845, a true masterpiece, which he demonstrated as a stage act. Like the mystery clock, the magic clock’s hands moved without any apparent connection with the driving mechanism; two separate cords suspended the glass dial and bell, which, with a wave of Robert-Houdin’s magic wand, would obey the various orders and commands stunned spectators might suggest . In addition to his talent as inventor, Robert-Houdin had a charismatic personality that enabled him to perform on stage and captivate his audience easily. Theatre lover, illusionist and actor at heart, he opened his own conjuring theatre at 14 Galerie de Valois at the Palais Royal in Paris. On 3 July 1845, Robert-Houdin premiered the first of his four “Soirées Fantastiques” where he paraded a host of mechanical marvels that would respond to his voice, obeying the commands that spectators would suggest. For numerous years he triumphed before his public, earning a reputation worldwide. His fame was such that in 1848 he travelled to London to perform at the St. James’s Theatre, and also before Queen Victoria, who extended a personal invitation to have the magician perform at Buckingham Palace! In 1855, Robert-Houdin and the Maison Destouche exhibited together at the Universal Exhibition, where they were awarded a First Class Medal for seven inventions: an electric regulator clock, a mantel clock, several large bell-tower dials, a mechanism to turn electric current on during the day and off at night, a new electric SMEE battery, an electric distributer (precursor of the electro-magnetic motor) and a new device to transfer electric current. To this endless list, we can add that Robert-Houdin was one of the pioneers of the electric clock, for which he filed a patent in 1855. Tardy, Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français, Paris 1971; Polichinelle, Jan-Oct 1983, pp. 40-48; Francis Maitzner, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, Horloger, mécanicien, prestidigitateur “L’histoire de sa vie,” Bulletin ANCAHA, no. 58, été 1990, pp. 5-17; Richard Chavigny, Jean Robert-Houdin Horloger, Bulletin ANCAHA, no. 58, été 1990, pp. 19-28; J.C. Gendrot La pendule mystérieuse de Robert-Houdin Bulletin ANCAHA N° 58, été 1990, pp. 29-37; Paul Réal, Restauration d’une pendule à trois mystères signée E. Robert-Houdin, Bulletin ANCAHA, printemps 1998, pp. 39-44; Derek Roberts, Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks, Shiffer Publishing, USA, 1998. Dictionnaire des Horlogers Français, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, Horloger, mécanicien, prestidigitateur “L’histoire de sa vie,”, , Jean Robert-Houdin Horloger, La pendule mystérieuse de Robert-Houdin, Restauration d’une pendule à trois mystères, signée E. Robert-Houdin, Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks, Musée de la Magie, Blois; Musée Paul Dupuy, Toulouse, On requestRead more

  • BELBelgium
  • Dealer
Fixed price

Blog posts about "Jacques Nève"

Realised prices "Jacques Nève "

Jacques Nève has 45 objects in the categories.

Find address and telephone number to Jacques Nève

Jacques Nève
Rue des Fonds 2
1440 Braine-le-Château
+32 477 27 19 08
jneve@horloger.net
Advert