It features a mechanism which automatically lights a candle at a time pre-selected by depressing a small knob on the case. This was the invention of Jean Eugène Robert, known as Robert-Houdin, famous as both a clockmaker and a conjurer.
He submitted a request for a patent in 1837 for “an alarm clock with a lighter which via a spring strikes a match to give light at the desired time”, making it his first patented invention.
Three years after the original patent Robert reapplied for an improved version and this example appears to be from the first generation of production featuring a rear assembly.
The little clock, which features a Breuget watch mechanism, has passed down by descent through the inventor’s family. It is estimated at €5000-8000 in the sale which will be staged at Drouot.