Horloges Saint-Nicolas signées Spriridion Cartier
Horloge de gauche,1828, dépôt du Château musée de Dieppe.
© Musée de l’horlogerie, Saint-Nicolas d’Aliermont.
Spiridion Cartier (1801-1878) was a master cabinet-maker in Bures-en-Bray, on the banks of the river Béthune, around 1840-1850. He was a third-generation cabinet-maker. His marriage licence states that he is a “master carpenter”. The 1851 census says that his daughter is a “sculptress” - she probably worked with her father on the decoration for his clocks.
The pediment features a sculpted jardinière on a piedouche (a small pedestal), with curved “swan neck” handles and two flowers in its centre, one of which is always a rose (on the left for the clock from the Château-Musée in Dieppe, and the right for the clock from the Musée de l’Horlogerie). Among a garland of stylised leaves and flowers (anemone and lilac) there is a trilobate leaf on top of the pediment with a small leaf slightly inclined to one side.
There are carved leaves, flowers, and bunches of grapes on each side of the dial. At the foot and on both sides of the base of the head, there are two carved scrolls. The ornamentation in front of the pendulum is often missing, as it is extremely fragile. Both these clocks feature birds standing beak-to-beak: one wing is folded, and the other stretched out so that both are visible.
On the upper part of the clock’s case there is a carved woven basket in the same style: in the centre, there are two flowers, one of which is a rose; in between, there are lilac and forget-me-nots, and on both sides either a trilobate leaf or a bouquet. The door is always in-set and decorated with mouldings of ears of corn or pearls. The dial is enamel with Roman numerals. The hands are “Sun” hands. The pendulum bears a large lens.
Around 1860, Cartier produced several “luxury” clocks and several Bacquevillais clocks - grandfather clocks whose cases were made by cabinet-makers from Bacqueville-en-Caux, and which were fitted with a Comtoise movement and flower-adorned head, similar to the clocks from Saint-Nicolas