Long-Case Clock (régulateur)

Object Details


Long-Case Clock (régulateur)


Case attributed to André-Charles Boulle (French, 1642 - 1732, master before 1666)
and movement signed by Antoine Gaudron (French, master 1675, juré 1699, died about 1707)




Paris, France (Place created)


about 1680 - 1690


Oak, veneered with tortoise shell, pewter, brass and ebony, with mouldings of ebonized wood and gilt bronze mounts


247.2 × 47.9 × 19.1 cm (97 5/16 × 18 7/8 × 7 1/2 in.)

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When Dutchman Christiaan Huygens invented the more accurate long-pendulum clock in 1657, other clock makers soon followed, adapting the design of their cases accordingly. In this early example, the pendulum and weights have been enclosed in a long case for protection. The center of the narrow body swells to allow for the pendulum's swing, and it has a viewing hole to observe the movement.A phrase from Virgil engraved beneath the dial--Solem audet dicere falsum (It dares the Sun to tell a lie)--alludes to the accuracy of this type of clock and its ability to demonstrate the irregularity of the sun's orbit.

On the basis of the marquetry pattern, the case can be attributed to the ébéniste André-Charles Boulle. The inventories of Louis XIV identify a clock of the same design and similar marquetry, now in the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris.

Louis XIV at the Getty (June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016

"Acquisitions/1988." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 17 (1989), p. 140, no. 66.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1991), p. 160.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), pp. 82-83, no. 127.

Ramond, Pierre. Chefs d'oeuvre des marqueteurs. Vol. 1, Des origines à Louis XIV (Dourdan: Éditions H. Vial, 1994), pp. 27-29.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996), pp. 2-9, no. 1.

Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Decorative Arts (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 57, no. 42.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), pp. 65-66, no. 128.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), p. 369, app. no. 4.

Kopf, Silas. A Marquetry Odyssey: Historical Objects and Personal Work (Manchester, VT: Hudson Hills Press, 2008), p. 93, fig. 122 (detail upside down).