8 bell skeleton clock playing Whittington chimes at the quarters. (c. 1850 United Kingdom)

8 bell skeleton clock playing Whittington chimes at the quarters.
Title 8 bell skeleton clock playing Whittington chimes at the quarters.
Country of Origin United Kingdom
Dated c. 1850
Medium brass
Condition very good. Recently overhauled.
Status SOLD

Derek Roberts. British skeleton clocks. Page 121

Description / Expertise

D277. A very impressive skeleton clock which plays Whittington chimes at the quarters on eight bells and strikes the hours on a ninth, a particularly large bell, some 5" in diameter, mounted on the backplate, a feature we cannot recall seeing on hardly any other skeleton clock. It is thought, because of its highly individual design and extremely substantial construction, that it was probably a special commission. A very similar clock, but musical, which is signed J.Crawford Glasgow,(1) is illustrated in Royer Collard’s book on skeleton clocks page 121 and is now in the Royal Scottish Museum. Another example by the same hand may be seen in British skeleton clocks by Derek Roberts, page 219. Again the hours are struck on a bell and the chapter ring is virtually the same as on the present clock. Interestingly a small silvered plaque on the base of the present clock, which is surrounded by gilt fretwork, bears the initials AJC, which may well refer to J.Crawford. The chapter rings on both clocks is highly individual and almost identical, as are the frames and the plinths on which they sit.

The very substantial scroll frame rests on four tiered plinths. The chapter ring, some 12" in diameter, is unusually large, which permits the movement to be displayed within it as fully as possible. Stylised roman numerals are employed. These are engraved on interlinked oval plaques with decorative engraving. The bells are mounted above the movement with the smallest one to the fore. In front of the bells is a 12 pointed blued steel star. Considerable attention is given to the pendulum, the rod being attractively decorated and the substantial bob having a 12 spoked blued steel star on the front. Even the suspension spring is held in place by a brass block in the form of a halberd and is similar in form to the top of the plates.

Chain fusees are employed and the finely executed wheelwork all has six crossings.

(1) A James Crawford is recorded in Scottish Clock and Watch Makers by Donald Whyte as working circa 1850.

Height with/without dome. 26"/22.5" (66/57cms.)

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