Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Astronomical Clock

One of the more spectacular pieces of furniture in Louis XV's collection is without doubt this magnificent astronomical clock. The clock is the result of a combined working effort between Claude-Simeon Passemant (design), Louis Dauthiau (mechanism) and Jacques and Philippe Caffiéri (case).

Besides being an imposing mechanism, the clock also shows the phases of the moon, planetary movements according to Copernicus, real time, average time and the date. The crystal globe above the clock itself contains a bronze globe with the main cities engraved; surrounding the little earth are waterfalls and rocks. The size alone is astonishing, measuring over 2 metres in height. The clock is made in such a manner as to continue to tell the date until the year of 9999.

In 1749 the clock was brought before the prestigious Academy of Sciences which decided to approve the clock.
The Duc de Chaulnes had the honour of presenting the clock to Louis XV at Choisy on 7 September 1750. Immediately, the King had it installed in his private apartments and eventually the room it occupied became known as "the Clock Room".

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