Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Longcase equation regulator

Clockmaker: Ferdinand Berthoud (French, 1727–1807)
Case maker: Balthazar Lieutaud (French, ca. 1720–1780)
ca. 1752
Oak veneered with satinwood and kingwood; gilt-bronze mounts, glass, enamel, steel, and brass
Overall: 86 1/4 × 24 13/16 × 11 13/16 in. (219 × 63 × 30 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Acquisitions Fund, and Annette de la Renta, Mercedes T. Bass, Beatrice Stern, Susan Weber, William Lie Zeckendorf, Alexis Gregory, and John and Susan Gutfreund Gifts, in honor of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 2015
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 526
French clocks with long pendulums and weights are called régulateurs (regulators). This clock, presented in April 1752 to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris, appears to be the first equation clock by Berthoud, who came to specialize in timekeepers showing both solar time, which varies slightly according to the season, and mean solar time, which is stable throughout the year. The trunk of Lieutaud’s case swells just above the base, enclosing a shaped opening to show the pendulum. The curved outline of the case is not only in keeping with the rococo style popular in the mid-eighteenth century but also highlights Berthoud’s cutting-edge technology of the time.
Signature: Signed on backplate: Fnd Berthoud Inv Et Fecit A Paris

Signed on dial: Fnd Berthoud A Paris

Stamped on case: B. LIEUTAUD

Signed and dated on the strike train signed and dated: Richard fevrier 1787

Inscription: Engraved inscription on steel plaque in the interior: Cette Pendule à Equation et à Verge composée, a été faite par FERDINAND BERTHOUD, Horloger à Paris qui en a inventé l’Equation, et qu’il présenté en 1752 a l’Académie Royale des Sciences de Paris./Voyez l’Année 1752 des Mémoires de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris, Page 147 de l’Histoire, le Tome VII du Recueil des Machines, Page 425. et l’Essay sur l’Horlogerie par le dit Berthoud, Tome 1er. Chapitre XVe. Page 79eme. Et suivantes

On movement, the equation of time aperture engraved: LE SOLEIL AVANCE OU RETARD; the smaller window at chapter III engraved: A Pres la Bissextile

Marking: Stamped, on the body: MB and FL (in a frame)
Sir Charles Mills, Baronet ; Charles Henry Mills, 1st Lord Hillingdon ; by descent, The Lords Hillingdon , London (until 2001; sale, Christie's, London, July 5, 2001, lot 200; sold for £322,750 to Galerie Aveline); [ Galerie Aveline, Paris , 2001–15; sold to MMA ]
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