F - L- Dupuis, Amsterdam. Automated dial long case clock

An impressive burl walnut long case clock with automated brass dial signed “F – L- Dupuis, Amsterdam.”

Jean Laurent Dupuis is listed in Brian Loomes, Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World as working in this location in the late 18th century. This example would represent the last phase of tall clock production in that city as a change in fashion occurs there due to a decline in the city’s prosperity. The French mantel clock becomes popular.

The dial is brass and features a skillfully engraved silvered chapter ring. The hours are engraved in large Roman numerals and the minutes are executed in an Arabic form. The Maker’s name and working location can be found engraved in the lower section of the time ring in a script format. A subsidiary seconds dial is positioned above the center arbor. It is divided into five second increments. With in this matted and engraved area is a square shaped window that displays the numeral day of the month. The triangular window located inside the time ring on the right displays the month, the number of days in that month and a painted figure of a woman that represents that month. The window on the left displays the day of the week, the Zodiac sign associated with it and another figure of a woman depicting the day. Below the center arbor is a moon phase disk or lunar calendar. The area around the moon is painted in with the night time sky. The lunar day is displayed in the center at the top. Also indicated here on a separate ring is the hour of high tide in the city of Amsterdam. One will notice the ring around the center arbor that supports the hour and minute hands. This ring is for setting the alarm. The interior matting that surround these details is skillfully engraved. Even the winding arbors are decorated with ring turnings. The lower section of this dial is colorfully painted. It features a Dutch harbor scene that incorporates automation. With the motion of the pendulum the following occurs, the four sailing ships in the foreground tip side to side in a bobbing motion. They vary in size. In addition, two rows of waves also move in a side to side motion. This motion is actuated from the movement of the pendulum.

The time and strike movement is brass, eight-day duration and of good quality. It is a Dutch design and features a Dutch striking format. This movement has two separate bells. The hour is struck on the large bell at the hour. At the half hour, the coming hour is struck on the smaller one. The alarm is fitted to the side of the movement. It is wound independently by pulling on a cord inside the case. When wound, the alarm is activated to engage at the selected hour. The square plates that frame the movement are nicely finished. Four tuned pillars support the frames.

This clock case features outstanding woods that are thoughtfully laid out. The form is an interesting variation of what has come to be known as the Dutch style and the proportions are quite good. This case stands on, or is raised on two large ball and claw feet that feature powerfully carved jointed fingers. They are applied to a boldly formed base molding. The base section is a full bombe’ design that is highlighted with a delicate satinwood string inlay. The waist is long and narrow having canted corners that accentuate the narrow proportions of the case. The nicely shaped waist door is framed by an applied half round molding. The waist door centers an opening that is framed with a fancy gilt metal frame. Father time is depicted in this location. He is depicted as a bearded gentleman with long flowing hair. He wears two fully feathered wings and is sitting next to an hour glass. The door is also line inlaid and and features two very pretty floral motifs. The bonnet construction conforms to the basic shape of the dial. The bonnet door fronts the hood and is fitted with glass. The framing features nicely figured veneer. The top is decorated with applied floral carvings that originate from an urn. A carved figure of a woman holding grapes stands poised at the top.

This clock was made circa 1770. In its’ present form, this clock measures 105.5 inches tall to the top of the center finial.
This is an outstanding clock. It is inventory number 214085.


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