Miniature wall regulator with 24 hour dial (c. 1850 England)

 Miniature wall regulator with 24 hour dial
Title Miniature wall regulator with 24 hour dial
Country of Origin England
Dated c. 1850
Classification CHARLES FRODSHAM & CO, LONDON & PARIS (worked from 1834)
Signed/Inscribed/Dated Charles Frodsham, Clockmaker to the Queen, 84 Strand, London, 1850.
Condition Excellent
Dimensions 20.00cm wide (7.87 inches wide)
105.50cm high (41.54 inches high)
Status SOLD

Roberts.D. English Precision Pendulum Clocks Schiffer USA. Figs19-15A&c.,19/16 19/17plus text.

Description / Expertise

D159. Charles Frodsham, Clockmaker to the Queen, 84 Strand, London, Dated 1850.

This delightful and rare little clock, just 41.5" long and a little less than 8" wide, was one of a small batch of spring driven wall regulators made by Frodsham in the mid-19th century. We have yet to see two exactly the same, one example, shown in English Precision Pendulum Clocks (I) alongside a full size regulator, has a very similar case, the only apparent difference being that the base mould of the present clock is concave, not convex; however there are other differences; this clock uses a mercury pendulum with two glass jars (2) and has a circular dial with brass bezel. The dial of the other clock extends down behind the fret (3) and the pendulum uses a cast iron jar.

Because of the small size of the case it was not practical to employ a weight driven movement and thus a chain fusee was used. This might be expected to have some detrimental effect on the performance but a letter from an old Frodsham employee would seem to refute this.(4). He comments as follows:-In over 30 years at the bench this little regulator No.165.( With the same pendulum as the present clock.)stands out as one of the best designed and executed movements that I have had the pleasure of maintaining. When going properly it was capable of keeping time to one or two seconds a month.

The four pillar movement has a dead-beat escapement, a ‘scape wheel with six crossings, maintaining power and a damascened back-plate. It is held down to the seat-board by two substantial brass bolts. A nice touch is the two sliding brass bolts which hold the seat-board in position.The 24 hour silvered brass dial employs arabic numerals for the hours and much smaller outer arabic numerals for the minutes. There is a seconds ring in the upper half of the dial whilst below is Frodsham’s full name and address. At the bottom of the dial is AD. F.M.S.Z. (5) which corresponds with Frodsham’s code for 1850.

The hollow brass-rodded pendulum, which is suspended from a heavy brass bracket let into the back-board, employs two substantial glass tubes of mercury, one on either side. At the bottom is a large regulating nut with a silvered scale to its bevelled edge. The case is held to the wall by three brass brackets; one to either side at the top and the third below.

Length:- 41.5" (105.5 cms.) £35,000.

1/ Roberts. D. English Precision Pendulum Clocks. Schiffer Publishing. USA. Fig 19-15A.
2/ Roberts. Ibid. Fig 19-16.
3/ Roberts. Ibid. Fig 19-15 a & c
4/ Roberts. Ibid. Fig 19/16. Caption.
5/ Roberts, Ibid. Fig 19/17.

In 1939 when the last owner, at the age of five, first saw this regulator and was fascinated by it, it was in the house of his Great Aunt, Madame Edith Jensen of Belfast. Both she and her late husband had a serious interest in good furniture and furnishings. When she died the Frodsham passed on to her brother Sydney Andrews and then to the last owners father. In 1984 J.S.Andrews inherited it from his father and brought it back to England when he retired in 1987; finally disposing of it in 2008.

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