There is a great amount of evidence of my Cellier ancestors, along with a number of other Swiss (and some French) Cellier, as clock makers and watchmakers (horloger) in the XVIII and early XIX century.
An empire vase style (topped with an armillary) clock (A1) was offered at auction in September and December 2006, lots 4015/4018, by Koller in Zurich. Reference:
A similar second (A2), sold in Zofingen (lot 142) in 2010. Reference:
An "egg" vase style clock (A3) attributed to Ballif et Cellier (but described implausibly as 1820 Paris) had been offered at auction by Koller in 2003. The dial face appears very similar to the Empire style clocks above, but the signature is unreadable in the photo. The "egg" and Empire-style clock designs have appeared in several other Paris clocks, unsigned or signed by other makers. Reference:
A Neuchâtel-type Swiss bracket clock (B1) was offered at auction in October 2002 in Walnut Creek, California. I strongly believe that this clock probably once belonged to my grandfather, and his father before that, given the geography of the situation; but tracking has so far been futile. Reference:
A rather similar Swiss bracket clock, with green tone (B2), was offered (Koller lot 1205) in 2005 in Zurich:
Another presumably similar Swiss pendule was offered by Auction Ineichen, Zurich, in 2004. No photo; Reference:
All of these clocks (although, A3 is unverified, due to inadequate pixels) are signed on the dial face "Ballif et Cellier - a Bâsle".
This refers to Jacques Ferdinand Ballif, 1760-1816 (known as "F. Ballif"), and Victor Cellier (1771-1816), a son of Jean Henry Cellier (1744-1787) who began clockmaking in La Ferrière. John Henry's three brothers-in-law (Simon-Pierre, Frédéric-Guillaume, and Henry-Louis Gagnebin - sons of naturalist Abram III Gagnebin) were watchmakers in that village, also.
(Also, Jacques-Frédéric Houriet (1743-1830, Le Locle, "The Father of Swiss Chronometry") was a son-in-law or nephew of Abraham Gagnebin.)
The genealogy pages herein document these ancestors, including Victor and Sophie Marie Elisabeth (Ballif) Cellier (1769-1854; sister of F. Ballif); they lived in Basel, where their children were born in 1804 and 1810.
These clocks are pictured here (click for larger photo):
(A1) and (A2) Two empire vase clocks with armillary sphere
(B1) Swiss bracket clock
(A3) Egg vase clock ... (B2) Swiss bracket clock (green) ...
Cellier - and Ballif - clockmakers of La Neuveville are described in the journal, "La Federation HORLOGÈRE SUISSE", in an article published in the edition of 06 April 1938. The 12 MB pdf file is at bibliothèque numérique RERO DOC; the history begins at the bottom of page 2. An English translation of relevant excerpts is included herein: Ballif et Cellier, Horlogers de La Neuveville. However, please observe, that article does not at all mention F. Ballif (Jaques Auguste Ferdinand BALLIF, brother of Victor Cellier's wife Sophie) nor any of MY Cellier ancestor horlogers - perhaps because their works were not in La Neuveville, but in Basel (and earlier, La Ferriere). Victor Cellier and F. Ballif were buried in the same grave in Basel, in 1816.
Our genealogical diggings (Thank you, François!) have shown that there were many more Cellier family members engaged in watch- and clock-making - please view the family tree of Victor Cellier, his brothers and father. Also, the relations in the Gagnebin and Ballif families. The Gagnebin connection in La Ferrière is outlined in the 19370602 edition of the same journal. An outline of the entire series of historical articles is posted here.
In addition to the aforementioned Cellier (of Nods, La Neuveville, La Ferrière, Basel, Neuchatel), Charles Élie and Georges Emmanuel Cellier (of the Huguenot Cellier of Geneva) opened "Cellier Frères" in Paris in 1807. The son of Charles Élie Cellier, Georges François Cellier, continued with the tradition. He and his wife, who was also a watchmaker, produced the /Cellier-Dalleizette/ watches. The daughter of Georges François Cellier, Églantine Cellier, continued with the business of her father and grandfather. She and her husband, who were both watchmakers, produced the LeCoultre-Cellier watches.
Also, there were the Olivier-Cellier watchmakers of Geneva which, so far, are unconnected to the Swiss Cellier branches documented herein.
The documentaliste at Centre d'études - Institut l'Homme et le Temps - Musée international d'horlogerie informs us :
We find in our dictionaries this information on the Cellier companies :
- 1801, Victor Cellier in Bâle (Suisse), origin from Neuchâtel (Suisse). He is the partner of the Watchmaker F. Baillif in Bâles.
- 1803 in Neuchâtel (Suisse)
- 1806 in Paris, in Rue du Bourg l'Abbé
- 1814 on the name Mestral et Scheffer in Paris
The Horological Foundation, http://www.antique-horology.org/, includes Cellier and Ballif of La Neuveville among the earliest Cellier named in listings of "former makers and names":
Cellier - Neuenstadt - 1801 - horloger
Ballif, F. - Neuenstadt and Basle - 1801 - horloger
Cellier, Victor - Basel - ca.1801 - horloger
Cellier - Paris - 1806, 1814 - horloger
Lellier (Cellier) Freres & Mestral - Geneva - ca.1810 - horloger
Cellier Frères et Scheffer - Paris - 1813 - horloger
Cellier, Mestral et Scheffer - Paris - 1814 - horloger
Cellier Frères, Mestral et Scheffer - Paris - 1815 - horloger
Cellier-Deleizette - Geneva - ca. 1831 - horloger
Lecoultre-Cellier Eug. - Geneva - ca.1862 - horloger
The 2006 book, Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World by G. H. Baillie, lists (in German):
1. CELLIER - Neuenstadt. 1801 (This refers to the Swiss La Neuveville, not to the German town of Neuenstadt am Kocher)
2. CELLIER Freres et SCHEFFER. Paris. 1813. MESTRAL et SCHEFFER. Paris. 1814. Successors.
Other references to Cellier as horloger include:
1. CELLIER Frères, MESTRAL et SCHEFFER. Horlogers. Vers 1815. En 1806, les frères Cellier employaient 60 ouvriers et ouvrières, mais pas de travailleurs à domicile. Leur manufacture fut sollicitée pour exposer leurs produits au concours que l'Empereur organisait à Paris en mai 1807, et ils cédèrent après avoir une première fois décliné cet honneur.
(In 1806, the Cellier brothers employed 60 workers and workers, but no workers at home. Their manufacture was asked to expose their products to the competition that the Emperor organized in Paris in May 1807, and they yielded after first declining the honor.)
2. CELLIER Freres & MESTRAL. Horlogers. Début du XIXe siècle. Montres à répétition et à automates.
3. OLIVIER-CELLIER. Horloger genevois, Montres fantaisie. Présent à l'Exposition de Genève en 1828.
4. CELLIER-DELEIZETTE. Fabricants et marchands d'horlogerie. Mentionné à Genève en 1831.
5. LECOULTRE-CELLIER Eug. Fabricants et marchands d'horlogerie. Mentionné à Genève en 1862.
Almanach des 25000 adresses des principaux habitans de Paris, 1817 :
Cellier frères, Mestrael et Scheffer, dépôt d'horlogerie et bijouterie de Genève, quai Pelletier. 6
I eagerly await any comments or information regarding Cellier clocks.