“Bailly à Paris”
The signature “Bailly à Paris” is that of one of the most important Parisian horological families of the early 19th century. Probably from a dynasty of clockmakers who were active during the second half of the 18th century, the clockmaker was probably trained in the family workshop, opening his own workshop in the rue de la Loi (now the rue de Richelieu) in the early years of the 19th century (see Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers parisiens, Paris, 1971, p. 24). He quickly became known for the quality of his work and was named “Horloger de LL. MM. II. et RR.” (Clockmaker to their Imperial and Royal Majesties), working for Emperor Napoleon. He delivered many clocks to the Imperial Garde-Meuble and earned the privilege of maintaining the clocks in certain of the Emperor’s palaces and châteaux. He retired several years after the fall of Napoleon. During the early decades of the 19th century some of his clocks were mentioned in the homes of important collectors of the day, including examples described in the probate inventories of the widow of Pierre, duke of Courlande; the wife of Anne-César, Count of Beaurepaire; Eugène-Eustache, Count of Béthisy; and that of Horace-François-Bastien Sébastiani, Count de la Porta, who was a former minister, a Marshal of France and an ambassador.