The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Musical clock
  • Musical clock
  • François-René Morlay (active between: c. 1756) , Fondeur , (case cast and chased by)
  • Attributed to Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis, the Elder (1695 - 1774), Designer, perhaps
    François Viger (1708 - 1784), Movement Maker
    Claude Richard, Spring Maker
  • France
  • c. 1762
  • Gilt bronze, silk, glass, brass, enamel and steel
  • Object size: 90.5 x 66 x 30 cm
  • Inscription: 'MORLAY F' Engraved
    Inscription: 'VIGER / A PARIS' Painted
    Inscription: 'Viger AParis' Engraved
    Inscription: 'Richard mars 1762' Scratched
    Inscription: 'mars 1762' Scratched
    Inscription: 'Jan 8th 1920 / H Hildersley' scratched
    Stamp: '1786'
  • F97
  • Back State Room
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The Hunting Carillon Clock is a spring-driven musical mantel clock (pendule à musique), made in about 1762. The case is attributed to Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis the Elder and the carillon plays one of 13 tunes each full hour. The clock-case was cast and chased by François-René Morlay and the movement is by François Viger. The carillon is probably not by Viger, but by a specialist maker of musical movements. The clock movement has plain, cylindrical pillars, whereas the carillon has baluster-shaped ones. 1786 on the carillon spring is probably the date of the larger replacement spring. The fleurs-de-lis on the trumpet banner suggest that the clock may have been made for a member of the French royal house.

    In 2010, in order to avoid further wear and tear to the particularly complex and delicate carillon movement, a miniaturized sound system was installed inside the clock, enabling the tunes to be replaced with digital recordings. This innovative system, developed by sound engineer John Leonard and senior furniture conservator, Jurgen Huber, is activated by the clock’s ‘going train’ movement, and plays the original tunes of the musical clock, on the hour, every hour. The clock movement itself remains unaffected by the device but allows the visitors to enjoy the wonderfully evocative and arresting sound of the chimes whilst protecting the delicate mechanical musical movement for posterity.