+44 (0) 1962 844443|info@cartermarsh.com

Exhibit № 35: Joseph Williamson, London. Circa 1720

Exhibit № 35: Joseph Williamson, London. Circa 1720

A rare George I walnut month-going Apparent or Solar time longcase clock

£35,000


Height

8 feet 9 inches

Case

Veneered in burr walnut on an oak carcass, the hood with three giltwood finials to the caddy top, brass-capped Tuscan columns to the angles,  and pierced wood friezes above and below the cornice. The concave throat moulding above a rectangular trunk door with book-matched veneers and cross-grain D-moulded surround, the base with conforming veneers, separated by a cross-grain triple convex moulding, standing on a double-skirted foot

Dial

Of breakarch form, the gilt brass plate with engraved wheatear border and signed JOSEPHUS WILLIAMSON LONDINI FECIT on an undulating ribbon within a pierced an engraved silvered mount also inscribed Hora Indicantur Apparentes Involu/tis Equationibus set on the matted centre above VI and framing a calendar aperture, a large-diameter seconds ring below XII, all within the silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring with fleur-de-lys half-hour marks, gilt cast brass mask-and-scroll spandrels, and the arch set with a silvered year calendar ring with equation of time indicated by a blued-steel hand mounted with a gilt brass sunburst, flanked by dolphin-and-scroll spandrels

Movement

The rectangular plates secured by five ring-turned baluster pillars pinned to the frontplate, reversed trains of month duration with external rack-and-snail hour strike on vertically-set bell above the plates, anchor escapement and with twin vertical arms screw-planted on the plates extending above the bell to hold an arbor, whose front-end wheel (with a cut-out for counterpoise) is driven by an endless-screw drive arbor rising from the underdial motionwork, the opposing end carrying the equation kidney against which the upper end of the cranked pendulum–suspension arm is held by the weight of the pendulum whose effective length adjusts according to the rotation of the kidney, so giving Solar time indication on the dial

Duration

One month

Escapement

Anchor with self-adjusting effective pendulum length for Apparent, Solar time

Strike Type

Rack-and-snail hour strike

Joseph Williamson’s clockmaking origins are obscure, there being no record for him of an apprenticeship in the Clockmakers’ Company, although it is sometimes said he was apprenticed in 1683. He appears to have entered the Clockmakers’ Company late, but advanced to Junior Warden in 1721, and Master in 1724 or 1725, dying in office that year.

He certainly (on his own attestation) worked sometime for Daniel Quare for whom I then wrought mostly, partly making equation clocks, plus he claimed to have been the actual maker of all such clocks made in England up until 1719, having been the inventor of the kidney equation device. In 1719 his letter to the Royal Society, asserted his Right to the curious and useful invention of making clocks to keep time with the Sun’s Apparent Motion.

Notwithstanding the superlative quality of his equation clocks, in these claims Williamson was being disingenuous, for not only are there equation clocks signed by Tompion that are not by Williamson, the actual invention of the equation kidney to register (varying) Solar time was due to Christiaan Huygens, who in 1695 (in his last surviving letter) wrote to his brother Constantijn (then William III’s private secretary in London) outlining the kidney equation device.

As a result, we can deduce that Quare sub-contracted his equation clocks to Williamson, who then also proceeded to make these clocks on his own account, such as the present example.

Contact us about this item

Product Description

Joseph Williamson’s clockmaking origins are obscure, there being no record for him of an apprenticeship in the Clockmakers’ Company, although it is sometimes said he was apprenticed in 1683. He appears to have entered the Clockmakers’ Company late, but advanced to Junior Warden in 1721, and Master in 1724 or 1725, dying in office that year.

He certainly (on his own attestation) worked sometime for Daniel Quare for whom I then wrought mostly, partly making equation clocks, plus he claimed to have been the actual maker of all such clocks made in England up until 1719, having been the inventor of the kidney equation device. In 1719 his letter to the Royal Society, asserted his Right to the curious and useful invention of making clocks to keep time with the Sun’s Apparent Motion.

Notwithstanding the superlative quality of his equation clocks, in these claims Williamson was being disingenuous, for not only are there equation clocks signed by Tompion that are not by Williamson, the actual invention of the equation kidney to register (varying) Solar time was due to Christiaan Huygens, who in 1695 (in his last surviving letter) wrote to his brother Constantijn (then William III’s private secretary in London) outlining the kidney equation device.

As a result, we can deduce that Quare sub-contracted his equation clocks to Williamson, who then also proceeded to make these clocks on his own account, such as the present example.

Additional information

Dimensions 5827373 cm