Height

12 inches.

Case

Ebonised fruitwood onto oak, the shallow inverted bell top surmounted by a brass carrying handle with return moulding below, slender glazed moulded side windows. The narrow framed breakarch glazed front door with brass quadrant moulding with pierced silk-lined wooden sound frets with matched breakarch glazed back door and sound frets, simple moulding below and standing on rectangular brass block feet. The later wall bracket also in ebonised fruitwood.

Dial

The 6½ by 9 inch break arch brass dial is mounted with a silvered chapter ring, subsidiary dial for rise and fall in the arch and gilt brass rococo spandrels. The dial is finely matted with a false pendulum aperture and a silvered cartouche above, signed Just Vulliamy London. Above six o’clock is an aperture to view the day of the month and the steel hands are finely pierced.

Movement

The high quality timepiece movement has fusee drive and the rare feature of a silent verge escapement. The pull repeat is operated through a pair of friction-reducing pulleys in the side of the case and the quarters are sounded on two bells. The back plate is delicately engraved with foliage and scrolls.

Duration

8 days.

Provenance

Anthony Woodburn;

The Haigh Collection UK.

Notes

THE VULLIAMY FAMILY

Royal clockmakers 1730 – 1854.

Justin Vulliamy

Francois Justin Vulliamy was born in Switzerland and emigrated to England circa 1730. He was a man of great ability and in 1743 went into partnership with his future father-in-law Benjamin Gray of Pall Mall (c.1720-64), whose daughter he married in 1746. Gray was by that time Clockmaker to George II, having been granted the Royal Warrant in 1742. They produced clocks and watches of outstanding quality. From around 1780 Justin Vulliamy’s clocks started to be numbered. Justin Vulliamy died in 1797.

Benjamin Vulliamy

The son of Justin, Benjamin Vulliamy was free of the Clockmakers Company in 1781 and continued the business, with Royal patronage, from Pall Mall. The author F.J.Britten states that he was ‘much favoured and consulted by George III on mechanical subjects especially in connection with Kew observatory, which was a hobby of the King’. There were many clocks supplied to the Royal family, including in 1785, a very fine regulator for the King. Benjamin Vulliamy died in 1820.

Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy

Born in 1780, the son of Benjamin, Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy was free of the Clockmakers Company in 1809 and went into business with his father, continuing to trade from Pall Mall. He was clockmaker to George IV, William IV and Victoria. Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy died in 1854. He supplied many clocks to government offices as well as the Royal palaces.