Lighthouse clock from the French industrial series. The top of this clock is Automated.

The French firm of Guilmet made a series of clocks with a industrial themes. Many of his case designs celebrating the accomplishments of the industrial revolution. Popular themes were steam engines, instruments of travel like automobiles, boats and submarines and industrial manufacturing equipment.

This very interesting example was made in France circa 1900. This model is one of a series of automated clocks that share Industrial themes. This example is modeled after the lighthouse form and is in very good original condition.

There were several lighthouse forms offered. This may be the smallest of the automated group. Lighthouses built to this design are more commonly used to mark the entrance to a harbor. One that comes to mind that shares this basic form is the New London Harbor Light in Connecticut. The larger versions are often constructed to mark shoals and reefs. This fine example measures approximately 10 inches tall and 3 & 5/8 inches square at the base. The case is constructed in brass. The brick work used in the design of the building and the dome on top of the case are treated with a silver wash. The contrast in coloring is eye catching. Most of the exposed brass work is in the form of trim rings. I would like to point your attention to the catwalk and its’ fencing. The porcelain dial measures approximately 1 & 1/2 inches in diameter. This dial is enamel and displays the hours with Roman style numerals. The movement is controlled with a duplex escapement, the balance forming the oscillating lens that reflects light at the top. This lens is constructed with a number of vertical bars. It predates the introduction of the Fresnel lens in 1823. This is protected by four circular glass storm panels that form the sides of the turret. The motion is memorizing.

For additional information about this clockmaker please read Derek Roberts’ book titled “Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clock."


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