France, ca 1900, green onyx base, case with gilded brass and beveled glass; ht. 25, wd. 17.5, dp. 7.75 in.
Made for a very few years, these impressive and rare clocks used a series of gravity-driven balls to control the escapement, resulting in improved timekeeping. With a skeletonized gilded brass movement and an apparently original glass dial with black and red numerals, keywound springs power the rolling ball elevator and the singing bird (two bellows).(See Roberts, Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy Clocks, pp. 72) A clock made with a singing bird that is very similar to this clock was displayed at the 1900 Paris Exhibition. Universale
Condition: Appears complete. History of the clock inside the case. Elevator key present, bird key absent. One small glass chip, lower front left. Age cracks and small chips to onyx. Will need cleaning and adjustment. Repair to elevator exit gate and two tiny unexplained screw holes at base of elevator, possibly held a small baffle to keep elevator balls from escaping. Not in working order