Going train with pinwheel “coup perdu” escapement. Countwheel striking sounding the hours after the musical train’s melody and sounding single strikes on half hours.
The signed enamelled dial features Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic numerals marking five-minute intervals. Signed on the front: “Ragot à Paris”; on the movement: “Ragot au Temple, 1768”; on the reverse of the dial: “Barbezat”.
Musical train featuring 8 melodies and automatic switching. Three levers allow the musical train to be turned on and off, the melody switching to be enabled or disabled, and the musical train to be muted.
Standing on an ebonised plinth supported by four gilt bronze clawed feet and decorated with gilt bronze ornaments, the impressive case is flanked by two putti representing day and night. Day, or renewed life, carries a burning torch, while Night – eternity – holds a lamp. A cockerel stands on top, commonly used to personify France and a symbol of watchfulness.
At the bottom is a row of baluster-shaped columns, with red velvet at the back. The openwork sections in the middle have been rendered with diagonally arranged, stylised flower motifs covered with red velvet on the reverse. The openwork sections serve to improve the audibility of the musical train. The case is decorated with various meander patterns, stylised foliage and flower motifs.
The cockerel came to symbolise France as a result of wordplay: the Latin name “Gallus” means both “cockerel” and “Gallic.” Since 1830, the symbol has been formally adopted as the official symbol of France and must among others be depicted on the National Guard’s flagpoles.
La Pendulerie, Paris
Private collection, Amsterdam