- Museum number
Horizontal table clock; going train with fusee; verge escapement and later balance and balance spring; striking train with standing barrel; count-wheel for hours only mounted on back plate, as is bell; restorations; dial with chapters I-XII and 13-24 and symmetrical stylised engraving; square gilded brass case chased with scrollwork, foliage and fruit, base also engraved; turned feet.
- 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- The following text is the entry for this object from the unpublished catalogue of pre-pendulum clocks by John Leopold, former Assistant Keeper of Horology at the Museum.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.
South German, end of the 16th century.
Acc. to register: Bought in Ulm 1837.
Milham (1923) 128-9.
Symonds (1947) pl.6A.
No mark or signature. On the inside of the bell a repair-inscription: "Feby 12th 1840 WP" (see provenance).
Square; made of brass, gilded on the outside and on that portion of the inside which is visible when removing the base.
The band consists of four panels, dovetailed and brazed at the joins; they are cast with a simple patern of strapwork, fruits and flowers, and are all different one from the other. At top and bottom of the band there are profiled rings, each built up out of four cast sections brazed together, and riveted to the panels. The top of the upper ring is engraved with a fishscale border; that of the bottom one with a double line.
Movement and dial slide into the case from the top; there are two revolving steel latches on the backplate of the movement to secure it. Inside the band are two guiding-ridges to locate the movement.
Brass, gilded on the outside only; four feet.
The dial is engraved with a ring divided I-XII with simple half-hour marks; at II there is a hole to set off the striking at will. Inside this main chapter ring is another ring divided for quarter hours, and inside this a ring marked 13-24. The centre of the dial has engraved volutes and flowers; the spandrels are engraved with strapwork.
Gilded brass hand.
Brass, gilded on both sides. It consists of a flat sheet, fixed to the case by two lugs at one side, and by a steel catch at the other. The lugs were originally integral with the sheet; they have been cut off and replaced by new ones riveted to the inside of the base. At the same time the catch was modified, and two brass blocks were riveted to this edge of the base; all this in order to lift the base away from the movement (see conversions). The base has a large hole to allow the bell to protrude; this hole has been enlarged to accomodate a later bell.
The inside of the base is engraved with a double line around the edges, a triple circle touching the middle of each side, and a double circle around the hole for the bell. The poutside of the base has engraved strapwork and rough matting.
The present two winding holes are not provided for in the ornamentation and are later (the winding squares do not reach them).
There are at present four riveted feet, consisting of bun feet cut in half and extended by small balls on steel stems.
Plated movement with brass plates. Four round pillars of gilded bras, turned with ornamental rings and screwed with brass nuts on both sides.
Steel wheels throughout; all trainwheels have three crossings except the greatwheels, which are solid.
Backplate gilded on the outside only. It is decorated with a triple engraved line around the edges and two triple cicles, and three loines emanating from the hole for the staff. All furniture of the backplate steel, except the pointer for the countwheel which is of gilded brass.
All the fittings under the dial are of steel, except the spring for the dial-wheel and the hinged part of the nag's head with its spring.
20 | 54 50 45
── | ── ── ── 21 (x2)
12-hours ← 60 | 6 5 5
Springbarrel all brass; bottom and cap both riveted. The outer end of the spring now hooks into the wall, but bottom and cap both retain the slot for the original cross-bar. The inner end is hooked into a long slot in the arbor. Set-up wheel of 11.
Split fusee of brass of 7 turns, re-cut for chain; 26 ratchet teeth. Steel nose. Steel click and clickspring riveted to the surface of the wheel.
Second wheel has blueing (possibly a repair).
Contrate: the teeth have been cut away from the original rim, a brass rim was mounted inside the original one and the teeth re-cut into this.
Scapewheel: short arbor; brass collet. Steel potence with brass repair, brass (and later) counter potence; both screwed.
The escapement now has a brass wheel-balance with balance spring and regulator (see conversions). There are remains of a dotted scale for the original regulator in the corner near the balance.
The steel dial-wheel is solid; it is friction-tight to the arbor which carries the 12-pointed star for unlocking the striking.
56 ┌- 48 40 36
── | ── ── ──
7 ┤ 6 5 4
4 | ┘
Countwheel ← 52 |
Cased spring; wall of brass with half gap for hooking the spring; present spring much too narrow and hooked in the slot with a conventional hook. Inner end of the spring hooked in a long slot in the arbor.
Greatwheel: split arbor. Ratchet wheel of 18. Greatwheel made of a double thickness to recess the click and the clickspring (the latter a brass replacement).
Second wheel: 6 hammer lifting pins.
Fourth wheel: stud near arbor for locking.
Fly: brass, weighted with two heavy rivets (brass parts not original).
Countwheel: internally cut ring mounted around a raised disc on the backplate. The outside blued and engraved with the numbers 1-12, to be read off a gilt brass pointer (near the edge of the plate). The small disc that now keeps the countwheel in place is later.
Steel detents, with the hammer positioned behind them.
Unwarned striking with overlift off the pinwheel and random locking.
Going train: greatwheel - 1 rev. in 4 hours.
escapement - 8505 beats per hour.
duration - 28 hours.
Striking train: greatwheel - 3 1/4 turns in 24 hours.
Hight - 76 mm
Width - 95 mm
Hight of the band - 57 mm
Movement: 80 x 80 mm
distance between the plates - 33.5 mm
The clock was converted to balance-spring, probably in the 18th century. This involved replacing the balance and cock and fitting the present regulator, the pinion of which is loosely riveted to the backplate and cannot be removed. Probably at the same time the original hog-bristle regulator was removed and the fusee was converted to chain.
Octavius Morgan collection. According to the register of the Museum the clock was "bought in Ulm 1837", which accords well with the inscription in the bell, which shows that the clock was repaired in England in 1840 (although apparently not by Richard Durrant, who subsequently did a lot of work for Morgan, see no. ).
Octavius Morgan bequest; reg. 1888,12-1,106.
The use of brass plates and steel wheels, as well as the general design of the backplate (gilded brass with a geometrical patern of engraved lines and steel furniture), are typical of late 16th century South German work. The little vase at the centre of the ornament of one of the sides is reminiscent of watches from the same area and period.
For the slightly unusual wheelcount of the drive for the countwheel see no. .
Going: may be original, though attachment changed. Originally outer end with a crossbar (there are holes in the caps); now hooked with brass hook into square hole in the wall. Inner end hooked into slot. Barrel riveted over four studs at one end, snap-fit over four studs at the other (no traces of pins).
26 x .2 mm (quite regular width).
Striking: not original, too narrow for the available space. Inner end hooked into slot; outer end now hooked with a steel hook in a hole in the barrel, but this is extended to a half-slot. There is a repair (two rivets) near the inner end.
Register-marks on the edges of the plates at two sides (both going train).
Normal (not reversed) fusee.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (Pauline Wholey – 2019)
Milham (1923) W.I.Milham, Time & Timekeepers, including the History, Construction, Care, and Accuracy of Clocks and Watches (New York 1923).
Symonds (1947) R.W.Symonds, A History of English Clocks (London/New York 1947). Reprinted 1950 as A Book of English Clocks.
- Not on display
- Latest: 3 (Aug 2015)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Bought in Ulm in 1837.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number