Thuret family

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The Thuret family of clockmakers established themselves as one of the outstanding craftsman-dynasties in 17th- and 18th-century Paris. Their clocks are signed "Thuret", and distinguishing which member of the Thuret family made a specific clock is sometimes an unrewarding effort.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Isaac II Thuret (1630–1706), one of the first French clockmakers to make pendulum clocks, [1] held the royal appointment. His son Jacques III Thuret (1669–1738), was appointed clockmaker to Louis XIV of France in 1694. A perquisite of the royal appointment was the use of workshops in the Galeries du Louvre, where since the time of Henri IV, the outstanding artists, designers and craftsmen were granted workshop spaces, fostering cross-fertilisation among the arts. As one consequence there are numerous clocks by the Thuret dynasty in cases of rich tortoiseshell and brass marquetry designed by André Charles Boulle; one such remarkable clock by Jacques Thuret or his father is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [2] Another example, the Barometer Clock, is at the Frick Collection. [3]

Pendulum clock timekeeping device

A pendulum clock is a clock that uses a pendulum, a swinging weight, as its timekeeping element. The advantage of a pendulum for timekeeping is that it is a harmonic oscillator: it swings back and forth in a precise time interval dependent on its length, and resists swinging at other rates. From its invention in 1656 by Christiaan Huygens until the 1930s, the pendulum clock was the world's most precise timekeeper, accounting for its widespread use. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries pendulum clocks in homes, factories, offices and railroad stations served as primary time standards for scheduling daily life, work shifts, and public transportation, and their greater accuracy allowed the faster pace of life which was necessary for the Industrial Revolution. The home pendulum clock was replaced by cheaper synchronous electric clocks in the 1930s and '40s, and they are now kept mostly for their decorative and antique value.

Clockmaker artisan who makes and repairs clocks

A clockmaker is an artisan who makes and/or repairs clocks. Since almost all clocks are now factory-made, most modern clockmakers only repair clocks. Modern clockmakers may be employed by jewellers, antique shops, and places devoted strictly to repairing clocks and watches. Clockmakers must be able to read blueprints and instructions for numerous types of clocks and time pieces that vary from antique clocks to modern time pieces in order to fix and make clocks or watches. The trade requires fine motor coordination as clockmakers must frequently work on devices with small gears and fine machinery.

Louis XIV of France King of France and Navarra, from 1643 to 1715

Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power.

Jacques III Thuret married a daughter of the royal designer Jean Bérain the Elder, whose designs he assembled and published ; his daughter Suzanne married the painter, draughtsman and engraver Charles François Silvestre. [4]

Jean Bérain the Elder French artist

Jean Berain the Elder was a draughtsman and designer, painter and engraver of ornament, the artistic force in the Royal office of the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi where all the designs originated for court spectacle, from fêtes to funerals, and many designs for furnishings not covered by the Bâtiments du Roi. The "Berainesque" style of light arabesques and playful grotesques was an essential element in the style Régence that led to the French rocaille and European rococo.

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