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Audience clock by Antide Janvier from c.1800, estimate €32,000-40,000 at Dr Crott in Mannheim on November 7.

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He sold several extravagant timepieces to the French royal family, who rewarded him with the title of Clockmaker to the King.

Among his other specialities were so-called audience clocks, an example of which, from c.1800, is being offered by Dr Crott in Mannheim on November 7. The mahogany case with two gilt bronze sphinxes is a reflection of the then current passion for Egyptian decorative motifs.

As the name implies, these clocks were designed to denote the time – in this case 10 minutes – allowed to a supplicant to bring forth his petition. The 10 minutes are marked on a small subsidiary dial, while the main chapter ring indicates 24 hours.

True to his fascination for all things astronomical, Janvier also incorporated a refined system for showing the age of the moon, on a small central disc, and the moon phases, which are demonstrated via a small rotating moon, fitted into the hour hand.

The guide is €32,000-40,000.

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