Rare Three-Month Going Antique Desk Regulator with Glazed Gilt Bronze Case, Napoléon III period

Jean-Aimé Jacob
Paris, Napoléon III period, circa 1850-1860
Height 47.5 cm; width 26.5 cm; depth 20 cm
he round silvered copper dial, signed “Ame Jacob” bears the word “Régulateur”. It indicates the outermost five-minute Arabic numeral intervals; its two eccentric auxiliary dials indicate the Roman numeral hours and the Arabic seconds by means of three blued steel hands, two of which are Breguet hands. The three-month going movement is driven by two cylindrical weights. The gridiron pendulum has a large bob; the rectangular case is glazed on three sides with beveled glass panels. The rectangular gilt brass or bronze case is in the form has rounded corners; the inside terrace is adorned with lozenges and the dial plate is elaborately chased with vases, figures, and flower and leaf baskets with abundant acanthus leaf scrolls, set against a matted ground.
he present rare precision regulator, one of the most elaborate of its time, derives from the luxury clocks developed by clockmaker Robert Robin during the second half of the 18th century. This seconds-beating clock has a compensation balance that protects the movement from the effects of temperature change, thus giving it optimal precision. Today only a few comparable mantel regulators are known. One example, made by Etienne Maxant, was bequeathed to the Lyon Musée des Arts décoratifs by Amédée Gonin in September 1927 (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue Ô Temps ! Suspends ton vol, Catalogue des pendules et horloges du Musée des Arts décoratifs de Lyon, Lyon, 2008, p. 96, catalogue n° 44).

Jean-Aimé Jacob, the maker of the present clock, was well known for his remarkable work. At the 1839 Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie française, he was praised for the quality of his clocks and for his inventiveness. The jury awarded him a second silver medal and wrote the following about him:

“M. Aimé Jacob exhibited a chronometer, regulators with compensation balances featuring steel and zinc rods, and a timer watch that is very easy to use, which was very accurate in a series of tests that were performed at regular intervals. M. Aimé Jacob’s chronometer, which was damaged in an accident while he was bringing it to the exhibition, could not be repaired in time for the piece’s functions to be studied at the Observatory. This will remain a cause for regret for those who still remember the remarkable chronometer made by M. Aimé Jacob, which won a prize at the 1834 competition. The meticulous construction, and of course, the other items of precision horology presented by M. Aimé Jacob, resulted in that skilled artist’s having again received a silver medal, the same he was awarded at the last exhibition.” (Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie française en 1839, Rapport du jury central, Tome second, Editions L. Bouchard-Huzard, Paris, 1839, p. 228-229).
ean-Aimé Jacob (1793-1871)
Was one of the most important French horlogists of the second half of the nineteenth century. He specialized in precision clocks. Born in Sisteron, he moved to Paris at a relatively young age and began working in the workshop of Pierre-Louis Berthoud in April 1813. Several months later, after the death of Berthoud, his widow asked Jean-François-Henri Motel to continue running the workshop. Jacob remained with Motel for several years, then entered the workshop of the renowned horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet in April 1816. After a remarkable Parisian career during which he was awarded several gold and silver medals at Exhibitions of the Products of French Industry, around 1840 Jacob decided to open a workshop in Saint-Nicolas d’Aliermont, a city that was considered a center of horological excellence. He very quickly won recognition for his inventiveness and well-finished creations. He became famous for his chronometers, chronographs, and compensation regulators, having invented several important technical improvements. After having received the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in November 1859, Jean-Aimé Jacob appears to have progressively retired; he died in Dieppe on January 30, 1871.


Jacob Jean-Aimé

Jacob Rare Three-Month Going Antique Desk Regulator with Glazed Gilt Bronze Case, Napoléon III period