Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Repeater watch

Watchmaker: Julien Le Roy (French, Tours 1686–1759 Paris)
Case maker: I. T. (French)
ca. 1755
French, Paris
Gold, enamel
Diameter: 1 5/8 in. (4.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
Not on view
Julien Le Roy, probably the most inventive clockmaker in eighteenth century France, was appointed clockmaker to Louis XV (1710–1774), an honor that allowed him a workshop in the Louvre. The movement of the watch strikes hours and quarters on the back of the case instead of on a bell. This type of repeater, called a dumb repeater, allowed the user to tell the time unobtrusively by counting the vibrations of the case. The style of the case, with its beautiful opaque-enameled flowers that seem to float on an engraved gold ground, was fashionable among Parisian makers of watchcases and gold boxes about the middle of the eighteenth century.
Signature: Signed, on movement: Juln Le Roy à Paris

Marking: Case: I.T., surmounted by a bird (unidentified goldsmith’s mark)
Carl Heinrich Marfels (sold to Morgan) ; J. Pierpont Morgan , London and New York (until 1917; to MMA)
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