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French Industrial Automaton Turbine á Dragées Clock

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French Industrial Automaton Turbine á Dragées Clock

- Item No.

A revolutionary candy-making machine is the model for this rare French industrial automaton clock

Key Features

  • This rare and intriguing French industrial automaton clock takes the form of a turbine á dragées
  • This highly detailed timepiece was almost certainly crafted for the turbine's inventor
  • The clock's bell-striking movement is set within copper and gilt brass atop a stepped marble base
  • This clock is signed and dated 1887
  • 14" length x 18" high

Item Details

  • Height:
    18 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
    France
 This French industrial automaton clock is a model of a Turbine á Dragées, a machine for producing traditional French sugar-coated almonds and similar items. Almost certainly crafted for C. Leclaire, the designer of this revolutionary machine, this amazing timepiece actually turns exactly as the turbine does. The bell-striking, Medaille de Bronze-winning Samuel Marti & Cie. clock movement is contained within a brass cylinder around which the spherical copper head of the turbine rotates. The turbine itself is powered by an independent spring and is accompanied by life-like gears. The cast brass column is decorated with branches of an almond tree bearing nuts, a clear reference to the candied almonds that this machine produced. An aneroid barometer, with an additional hand for recording the previous day's reading, completes this fascinating piece. 

 Believed to be a presentation piece made for Leclaire, this rare timepiece rests on a flawlessly-carved brocatelle marble base and gilt brass plate. 

 The base features the beautifully engraved initials "C.L.," thought to be those of C. Leclaire, as well as a plaque dated 1887 and engraved "Turbine á Dragées, Systeme C. Leclaire." It is also signed "A. Borius, 4 Place Thorigny" on a silvered plate around the winding keyplate. 

 Circa 1887 

 14" length x 18" high 

 Before the turbine á dragées was invented, these candy-coated delicacies were produced by hand for centuries using pans called "branlantes," which translates to "unstable." These pans featured two handles from which they were hung from the ceiling. The confectioner added the cores into these pans and poured in different syrups while stirring the dragées. The cores can be composed of several products, including almonds, hazelnut, nougatine, chocolate, liqueur, almond paste and fruit paste. They are placed in the machine's barrel which turns while a syrupy sugar is poured in, ensuring even coating on each piece.

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Price: $28,500
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