Dummy candlestick, one part of a three piece ormolu garniture with Japonisme style decoration manufactured by Achille Brocot in France circa 1880. The other pieces in the garniture are a pair dummy candlestick and mantel clock.

Paul Brocot (of the Achille Brocot clock manufacturing firm) exhibited in the French Court at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, in Class 26 'Clocks and Watches'. He was awarded a First Order of Merit (silver) medal, for 'Mantel, Carriage, Ornamental and Ordinary Clocks', and a Third Order of Merit (certificate) for a 'second exhibit of special complicated clocks, of very high class'.

The Brocot display was just one of over 50 firms representing the French clock making industry. According to the Official Record, France exported between 25,000-30,000 clocks a year; England was its largest market at the time, and it was noted in the catalogue that Paul Brocot manufactured especially for the English and American markets. Brocot's display was described: 'This well-known maker exhibited an excellent collection of clocks, both simple and complicated. Among the latter were chime clocks, perpetual calender clocks, &c. The designs were most artistic, and workmanship of the first class. All these clocks had the Brocot Patent suspension of the pendulum.' (Official Record: 70)

Paul Brocot was a son of Achille Brocot (1817-1878), a mathematician and maker and inventor of clock mechanisms. Achille patented several improvements in clock mechanism escapements, and invented the 'Brocot Suspension', an adjustable pendulum spring which enabled time keeping to be regulated by altering the length of the pendulum suspension spring by a key turned in the dial. He also introduced a jeweled deadbeat escapement, sometimes called a visible escapement as it was often mounted in the middle of the dial. Achille was awarded a first class medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1855, and in 1856 was appointed Treasurer to La Société des Horlogers in Paris. He published a "Calculation of the Wheels by Approximation" in 1862. His sons Achille and Paul continued the business following Achille senior's death 1878. The firm was taken over by rival clock maker Gustave Gibaudet in 1889.

Physical Description

Slightly tapering cylindrical form on raised foot with Grecian decoration on top of a square pedestal, with elephant head handles at shoulder and fluted rim. The bronze body is overlaid with enamel, painted in gold and naturalistic colours. One candlestick features a samurai warrior standing alongside a shore; the other features a courtesan holding a fan, alongside a shore. On the back of each candlestick is an image of a bird in flight amongst gold reeds. Both candlesticks stand on gilded gesso feet, with dark blue velvet tops.

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