Spiridion Cartier, master cabinet-maker in Bures-en-Bray

The clock deposited by the Château-Musée in Dieppe is signed “Cartier à Bures” [Cartier in Bures]. Amazingly, clocks are rarely signed, and one of the few confirmed carpenters is Spiridion Cartier. The clock also carries the inscription “Pascal Lefebvre, horloger à Bures” [Pascal Lefebvre, clockmaker in Bures] and the date 1841. In the catalogue, the Musée de l’Horlogerie’s clock is “attributed to Spiridion Cartier”. At first glance, the resemblance is striking ... The clock from the Saint-Nicolas d’Aliermont collections seems, however, to have been stripped, because the case’s wood is dull and much clearer than the Dieppe clock.

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.

According to one historian, the period 1840-1850 was when Spiridion Cartier produced his most beautiful clocks. The quality and finesse of the floral decor are exceptional.