Friday, July 3, 2015

Rossignol à Caylux Comtoise - Before Photos

I had no real intentions of purchasing a third comtoise, but this one happened to be within Ontario (my home province) and was very cheap. This was the least expensive comtoise out of the three. I went from fairly expensive, to well-priced, to a real bargain!

The clock is not without its flaws, however. As the photos will show, the clock has had an ugly metal wall-mounting bracket added to the top, and it has a missing side door. It also came without weights, a pendulum, or a key. The weight lines are also no good. Still, this is a great piece. The quality and craftsmanship on these clocks is exceptional, and I don't mind owning several of them.

The clock has a similar "Sun King" theme as my 1840s comtoise, but this one is a bit later, and the theme is more geared towards "The Harvest" from the prominent sheaves of wheat and farming tools shown surrounding the sun. More details on the dial later.

This particular clock has a number of slightly odd features, such as the round bell post (most have a square section). The bell is also brass, and it is likely an older replacement (but it sounds beautiful).

The movement is fairly early, and uses a crown wheel escapement, with a single spun brass (these are lead-filled) detent weight. It also uses the earlier style of thinner main wheels.

Here you can see the metal bracket added to the back (which will be removed), and the incorrectly installed hammer (it should be to the back, and under the bell).

Note that the bracket is not even centered. I'm not sure if the back panel and door are original to the clock or not.

Very finely detailed crown wheel support stem.

It's not too visible in this photo, but the front cap/cover of the silk thread suspension "hat" is missing.

The following photos show areas of the dial that will have dents repaired.

The scythe is very crumpled.

This is the worst section of the dial front. I'm not too sure what kind of tool this is, but the handle is very damaged.

The figure on this model is very androgynous compared to the other pattern.

The bottom corners are very unusual. I'm not sure what sort of huts these are meant to represent. They seem to sit on small platforms with 2 feet. It seems like a very unusual choice to mix with the rest of the design. If anyone has any information or thoughts on this, please feel free to comment about it and let me know.

I have started restoring this clock, and I've made several interesting discoveries. More soon.


  1. Hi Sooth!
    That one tool on the front of the comtoise is a flail used to beat the grain and separate the wheat berries and chaff from the stalks. Pretty sure on this, here's a link:

    Great work you've been doing! Keep it up!................................doc

    1. Thanks for your comment and info on the flail! I've also discovered that the little "huts" at the bottom are old fashioned beehives!