A finely engraved Gorge carriage clock by Drocourt of Paris.
The eight-day duration movement strikes the hour and half-hour on a gong, with a repeat button to the top allowing the hour to be struck at will. The silvered platform lever escapement is stamped to the underside FR P 6401, these escapement makers’ initials having been seen on other platforms supplied to Drocourt during this period of manufacture. The movement backplate is stamped with the serial number 5820 along with the wording Fast/Slow either side of the regulator index for adjusting the rate of timekeeping, with the inside of the plates stamped with the Drocourt trademark oval; the wording Drocourt, Paris, Fnt, (Fabricant or Maker), with the front of the frontplate stamped with the initials and serial number H.L. 12711, for the maker of the blanc roulant, Holingue frères. The white enamel dial has black Roman hour numerals, Arabic outer five-minute numerals, dots to the outer aspect and blued steel moon hands with a finely engraved gilded masked surround. The engraved Gorge case is of a style typical of this maker.
Pierre Drocourt, born 1819, founded the Drocourt clock-making business in Paris in 1853 with his son Alfred, born 1847, taking over in 1872. The blancs roulants, rough movements, were made in Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, a town outside Dieppe, where Drocourt had workshops until their sale in 1904, being premises purchased from Holingue frères in 1875 who had previously supplied Drocourt. The clocks were then finished ready for sale at their workshops at 28 Rue Debelleyme, Paris; previously Rue Limoges.
Jean-Francois and the younger Louis Holingue, Holingue frères, were the sons of the carriage clock maker Jean Baptiste and worked in the clockmaking town of Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, near to Dieppe, producing the rough movements for a number of well-known makers including Athanese Bourdin, Paul Garnier and Moise Bolviller. With Louis-Albert Holingue, the son and likely successor of Louis, married to the daughter of the carriage clock maker Victor Reclus, and settled in Paris with seemingly little interest in returning to the town, the brothers sold their workshops and equipment to Alfred Drocourt in 1875, having supplied Drocourt for a number of years with movements for his own clocks finished in Paris. They were awarded various medals at trade expositions, and were highly regarded as horlogers amongst their peers.
Leigh Extence notes: For further details of Drocourt and Holingue frères see my 2014 Exhibition catalogue: Pierre & Alfred Drocourt: An Exhibition of Carriage Clocks, available via the Extence website.
Derval: The Derek Roberts Collection