Jean-François De Belle

D
Debelle rue Saint-Honoré à Paris
This is the signature of Jean-François De Belle, or Debelle, one of the most important clockmakers of the last quarter of the 18th century and the early 19th century. After becoming a maître, he opened a workshop in the rue Saint-Honoré on the corner of the rue de l’Arbre-Sec. His fame grew rapidly and his name was cited in glowing terms in almanachs of the period. During the Revolutionary period, he sat on the committee concerning the new time measurement system. In 1804, his widow delivered two of his creations, very elaborate automaton vases, to the Spanish Court. Today, clocks by De Belle may be found in the most important private and public collections, including the Royal Spanish Collections in Madrid and the Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau.