- Museum number
Horizontal table timepiece with alarm attachment; spring-driven iron movement with fusee; four-wheel train; verge escapement with balance; gilded-brass case engraved with initials and date.
- Production date
- Curator's comments
- The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum. This information is unedited and should be used accordingly.
CYLINDRICAL TIMEPIECE WITH ALARUM-ATTACHMENT.
The clock: South German, dated 1581.
The alarum: ca.1560.
Lady Fellows bequest.
Exhib.Cat. South Kensington (1862) no.7522.
No signature or mark.
Clock: case and dial.
Made of brass, gilded on the outside only (gilding much worn). The band is made of sheet, bent into shape and brazed at the join; it is engraved with simple strapwork filled with leafy tendrils. At the top of the band a profiled ring holds the dial; this ring appears to be cast and turned.
The dial consists of a brass disc which is a snap-fit into the top ring. It is engraved with two hour-rings, the outer divided I - XII with stars as half-hour marks, the inner 13 - 24. In the centre there is a sunburst and the rings are surounded by twelve touch-pins, that at XII being more prominent than the others. A notch filed in the ring that surrounds the dial further facilitates finding the 12 o'clock position. The hand is missing.
The base consists of a disc brazed to a cast profiled ring, which fits friction-tight on the band. The outside of the bottom is engraved with ornamentation similar to that of the band; on the inside is an inscription (under the gilding):
H S I
There are faint guide-lines for the engraving; there are traces of black wax filling in the inscription.
A notch has been filed in the edge of the base, probably so that it can be located to match the top ring.
Made entirely of steel, except for the barrel-wall which is of brass.
Plated movement with solid back-plate; three pillars of rectangular section, riveted under the dial and pinned on the backplate.
Going train only, the wheelcount being:
4 ║ 50 45 35
── ║ ── ── ── 15 (x 2)
24 ║ 5 5 5
All arbors pivoted in the front plate but only barrel and greatwheel pivoted in the back-plate. The 'scape wheel is pivoted in a clip pinned over the pillar on the fusee-side; this clip also accomodates the top pivot of the contrate wheel. The second wheel and the bottom of the verge are pivoted in two arms pinned over the pillar on the barrel side. All wheels have four crossings except the second which has three.
Spring-barrel: brass wall, both caps riveted over four studs. The caps have slots for the orginal cross-bar, but the spring is now held by a hook in the band. The caps are firmly riveted and the barrel was not opened to inspect the spring. Set-up wheel of 6 between barrel and front-plate, the click-tail projecting through a hole in the plate.
Fusee: 12 turns, 13 ratchet teeth for winding. Split fusee, the greatwheel having a lantern pinion of 4 to drive the dial-wheel, the arbor of which is friction-tight on the wheel.
Cock pinned on the inside of the back plate. This plate has an empty screw-hole on the edge near the balance, which may have been for a regulator.
Two spring-loaded catches on the backplate lock the movement in position.
Great wheel: 1 rev. in 2 hours.
Escapement: 9450 beats per hour.
Duration: 24 hours.
Made brass, gilded on the outside only. The band is engraved with a simple ornament of leaves in strapwork, the bottom with a double four-part leafy ornament; there is a profiled ring at top and bottom. Three legs brazed to the band and let into the lower ring (two legs repaired). The attachment is surmounted by a bell with profile rings, secured by a brass screw and ornamental washer.
Made of steel. Plated movement with three chamfered pillars which hold the open spring. Traincount:
── 9 (x 2)
Greatwheel: contrate wheel with split arbor, click-wheel of 13. Open spring contained by two studs and a pillars. The spring is a replacement; blue, 5.8 x .3 mm. The outer end has a riveted loop around one of the studs; the inner end is now hooked over a hook on the arbor (this much-repaired hook may be part of the original slanted slot).
Scape wheel: mounted in a clip pinned over a pillar.
Alarum cocked in the conventional manner, with a slide; in addition there is a manually operated locking lever under the bell.
Movement secured in the case by two screws.
Clock. Case: diameter - 56 mm
hight - 35 mm
Movement: diameter - 50 mm
distance between the plates - 21.5 mm
Alarum. Case: diameter - 41 mm
hight of the drum - 20 mm
total hight - 65 mm
Hight of clock plus alarum - 97 mm
This clock, exceptionally, shows no signs that it has been converted.
HISTORY AND PROVENANCE.
Lady Fellows, who exhibited the clock at the South Kensington Exhibition on 1862.
Lady Fellows bequest, 1874; reg. 1874,7-18,2.
The inscription on the inside of the base appears to be contemporary. A = Anno; H S I will have been the first owner's initials.
The clock represents the last developement of this type, with a solid back-plate (although for an earlier example of this see no. Morgan 109) and the aperture for the verge decorated in the late 16th/early 17th century fashion. The movement survives in remarkably complete condition, even retaining the original cock.
The alarum-attachment, which has different decoration, was not made as a companion piece for this clock. It is probably rather earlier, as is indicated a.o. by the shape of the pillars. The extra locking lever under the bell is unusual; in its present form it is not practical, but may originally have extended further outwards.
The alarm spring is later; it is quite regular and blued, but does not open very far.
I snapped the dial out and re-positioned it to have the notch corresponding to 12 o'clock.
Spring. Dimensions of the barrel: outer diameter of the wall - 20.6 mm.
distance between the caps - 15.5 mm.
There are two tiny holes in the back plate: one in the centre (matching the hole for the dial wheel) and another near the foot of the cock, hidden under the rim of the balance. The latter hole is matched by another one in the dial plate. Reason??
Bibliography—Pauline Wholey 2019
London 1862 Catalogue of the special exhibition of works of art of the mediaeval, renaissance, and mode recent periods, on loan at the South Kensington Museum, June 1862, J.C.Robinson ed. (London 1862).
- Not on display
Latest: 3 (Sep 2018)
3 (Aug 2015)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number