Wall clock (cartel)
Clockmaker: Jean-Jacques Fieffé French
Not on view
Fieffé became a master clockmaker in 1725. It is not known when he was appointed clockmaker to the Paris Observatoire, but it must have been before 1749, as the tax mark on the case of this clock indicates. It is known that Fieffé obtained some of his cases from several of the best Parisian gilded-bronze founder-chasers, including Jean-Joseph de Saint Germain (1719–1791), Jacques Caffieri (1678–1755), and Philippe II Caffieri (1714–1774). The Observatoire was founded in 1667 at the command of Louis XIV (1638–1715). The original building, a fine example of French classicism, was designed by Charles Perrault (1613–1688), architect of the colonnade on the east facade of the Louvre. The earliest of the observatory’s astronomical instruments were installed on a terrace on the roof. In the first half of the eighteenth century its activities, under the supervision of the Académie Royale des Sciences, were principally connected with geodesy (a branch of mathematics used to determine the size and shape of the earth and the position of points on its surface) and the mapping of France.