Sunday, February 27, 2011

Duverdrey & Bloquel then Bayard - Part 1

Clockmaking was the economic engine of the small village of Saint Nicholas D'Aliermont in Normandy for over two hundred and fifty years, beginning with the arrival of Charles-Antoine Croutte in 1725. Son of a clockmaker, Charles -Antoine succeeded so well in attracting workers to the village that 25 years later in 1750, Saint Niicholas counted 8 production shops and 27 on the eve of the French revolution in 1789.
1870?

In 1867, Albert Villon established his clockmaking shop in Saint Nicholas and began creating small 'domestic' alarm and mantle clocks, utilizing Japy Frères' famous enamel dials. Villon identified his clocks by includiing his initials A.V. on the back and added his logo, the "lion passant" or walking lion which became the trademark for over eighty years..

In  1896, Albert Villon associated himself with Paul Duverdrey and Joseph Bloquel and the three of them created the company known as Albert Villon, Duverdrey et Bloquel which operated under that name until  Villon's death in 1902.
It was then rebaptized Duverdrey & Bloquel  and in 1928, the brand name Bayard was retained. Bayard was chosen in reference to a character of French history known as the Chevalier de Bayard, who was without fear and without reproach.



From 1928 to about 1932, many of the clocks produced were stamped with both names - Duverdrey & Bloquel - Bayard mostly on the clock mechanism and finally only Bayard was kept along with the logo of the walking lion. Interestingly, people still confuse the Bayard lion with the car manufacturer Peugeot's lion even though the two of them are dramatically different in design.


1928-29

Logo stamped on Bayard mechanisms
With the increasing mechanization of the manufacturing process, Bayard clocks were mass produced and exported to the four corners of the world during the 1930's - a feat in itself. They also produced models for private brands such as Tribaudeau and the Manufrance catalogue.  Many of the clocks produced by Duverdrey & Bloquel did not have identification marks on the case, only on the clock's internal mechanism which makes identification sometimes a bit tricky. This is especially true for clocks that were manufactured for export.

1926 - 29 Bayard stamp on mechanism

1931 Solid brass clock case




1932 Blue leather desk clock case

The most easily recognizable Bayard clock is the one with the enamel dial and Roman numerals that was produced in varying sizes  and case finishes.



1931 'bijou' type models
This model ranged from the small "bijou" ladies clock in a leather carrying case, to a desk clock to the large mantle clock with a marble case weighing over 3 kgs. 
1934 Large mantle clock style in marble case stamped 'TRIB'.


The model on the left is one of Bayard's best- known and most popular. Produced around 1937, its chrome case and stylized numbering made it into a best-seller. It was also sold in brass, porcelain and stamped Bayard & Bayard . It was a completely new model of clock for the manufacturer. 
On a personal note, Bayard's clock mechanisms are surprisingly sturdy.


14 comments:

  1. Hi I have a mantle clock with the lion passant or walking lion tradmark just like the one above on your site on the back of the time piece the cilnder & insides are brass & round back plate & enamel dial the rest is beautiful carvered wood shaped like a arch can you please help me identify the year maker & of my mantle clock. Thank you for your time Ron

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi....a photograph would certainly help so I can look through the old catalogues I have. If it only has the lion passant and no mention of Duverdrey & Bloquel or D&B on the mechanism, then it is an older clock i.e. pre 1902. To date it more accurately, I have to see the model. If it doesn't have the initials AV on it, then it dates between 1896 and 1902.
    Regards
    Miche

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Miche, I don"t know how to send picture threw here. Can you please email me at honda1500guy@yahoo.com and I will send you pictures of the clock. Thank you for your help. Ron

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sushi, I found your article very interesting.I have a carriage clock with Bayard, Paris on the face. The mechanism has Duverey and Bloquel and the number 507183.Can you date it please? Regrettably the escape wheel spindle has broken and I am trying to locate a replacement. Any ideas where I might get one? I go to France quite frequently if that helps. Chris

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Sushi, I have e mailed as suggested,
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Bos....the carriage clock you have is what is called a 'mignonette'The model number is E 189 with an 8-day mouvement and enamel decorations on the dial. It probably mesures about 82 x147mm and weighs 630 grams.

    It is a copy of a Bayard XIXth C officer's clock and was made in 1982-83. They are excellent, high-quality copies of the originals made in massive brass, with bevelled glasses and most of them were made and sold for export to the UK and the US. The factory that bought the Bayard /Duverdrey & Bloquel name made four models of these 'mignonettes' and the back plate
    of the clock very likely has "7 seven (or 9 nine) jewels/unadjusted/Duverdrey & Bloquel/France/ and a series number engraved on it.
    They are still very collectable. Hope this helps

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    I have recently purchased a Bayard clock and would be pleased to hear your opinion about it: what year it could have been made and whether it's original or just a copy.
    The clock's style seems to be a bit similar to 'bijou' type model but it says 'French make' instead of 'made in France'.
    Can you please advise how I could send photos of it so that you could see how it looks like. Your help is really appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Sandra

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Sandra....photos are essential. You can send them to sushi134713@gmail.com and I will try to date your clock and give you as much information as possible
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Sandra


    Your clock is one of Bayard's high-end 'Ladies Bijou Travel Clocks', made in 1936-1937, specifically for export which explains the French Make on the dial instead of Fabriqué en France or just plain France on it.

    It would have been sold in a small leather case with two little doors that opened to show the clock. They were very sturdy and called 'bijou clocks' because ladies usually put it in their jewelry cases when travelling.

    It's a nice object and certainly illustrates the more gracious age of travel.

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello,

    Many thanks for your very informative reply to my question. It's a fantastic job you do! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used the info in this post on my blog - http://goodbaginc.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/vintage-bayard-mickey-mouse-clock/

    Thanks so much! -Lu

    ReplyDelete
  12. Have Duverdrey & Bloquel Carriage clock made in Franch mech is marked with walking lion, 11 jewel 2 admustments. also has initials on left side cursive L and on right is cursive F. Under these letters is printed R on left and A on right under the cursive F. Face numbers are regular numbers as opposed to Roman. says FRANCE under the 6 hour. works for min then stops, needs cleaning I'm sure. Has #98 carved on beveled glass door. Complete with brass wind key. Parents mar in 1936, this was wedding gift. is it worth cleaning professionally? happyelder343@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. A photograph would help but it sounds as if you have one of the carriage clocks (called Officer's clock in France) made before 1928 for export. It is certainly worth having cleaned as these clocks are very collectable and beautiful in their own right. If you ever decide to sell it, a professionally cleaned, fully-working carriage clock will fetch a far better price. Best regards

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi!
    We have recently beeb given a clock which features the lion passant on the rear and some crudely etched Roman numerals. The piece seems too rough to be from D&B. I've emailed you some pictures - what do you think?

    Thanks,
    Gavin Richard

    ReplyDelete