Current issue of Antiquarian Horology

Volume 38, Issue 2, June 2017

The front cover shows a detail of a William and Mary walnut and marquetry longcase clock case, c. 1690. The intriguing imagery is the subject of ‘An interesting case’ in this issue. Photo by Guy Boney Q.C.

This issue contains the following seven articles and two notes:

Don’t mention the war! The chequered early years of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
by George White (pages 175-190)
Summary: This article is an annotated version of The Clockmakers’ Company Annual ‘Harrison Lecture’ delivered on 23 September 2013. Drawing both on the Company’s surviving records and on outside sources, it relates how a small group of admittedly superlative workmen, without sufficient funding, grabbed the opportunity to form a Company when it unexpectedly presented itself and then faced a thirty-year struggle against extraordinary odds to turn the gamble they had taken to success.


Early English horological terms
by John A. Robey & William Linnard (pages 191-201)
Summary: English terminology used for clocks and clock parts has developed and changed over many centuries. Regional and dialect differences and individual preferences are also evident, as well as some terminological confusion. Many terms have become obsolete and are no longer used, and the meaning of some old terms is now uncertain or quite obscure. Using a wide range of printed sources we have compiled the following vocabulary of old terms relating to turret clocks and domestic clocks. It must be stressed that no attempt has been made to cover terminology relating to astronomical clocks, regulators, chronometers or watches.

Courtenay Adrian Ilbert, Horological Collector Part Two: Acquisition, 1930–1939
by Paul Buck (pages 202-220)
This article is a revised version of the 19th Dingwall-Beloe lecture delivered by the author in 2009. The first part was published in the December 2010 journal. The third and final part will appear in a future issue.

Two Poor Law clocks
by Chris McKay (pages 221-238)
Summary: Any clock or watch is the product of the technology of its time, the tools and materials available, the political, religious, social and economic situation, the driving need and the people who used it. It is easy to focus on a clock and its mechanism to the exclusion of the other factors. Two turret clocks I met were technically quite ordinary; their social history was very interesting. They were both products of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.

The story behind PATENT SURETY ROLLER stamped on carriage clocks
by Thomas R. Wotruba (pages 239-247)
Summary: During the last quarter of the nineteenth century a number of carriage clocks appeared with the words PATENT SURETY ROLLER within an oval stamped on the backplate. To many, this phrase was something of a mystery and an explanation of it was hard to find. Sometimes a few letters in this stamp were damaged, causing further confusion. This article attempts to explain the device defined by this phrase — its invention, its purpose, how it functions as part of the clock movement, and the extent of its presence in the marketplace. Read this article here

An impoverished innovator. Joseph Anthony Berrollas (1775–1852)
by David Buckden (pages 248-254)
Summary: Joseph Anthony Berrollas, active in London in the first half of the nineteenth century, sought new and elegant solutions in the development of greater sophistication in pocket watches. His achievements are marked by patents which related to alarm, repeat and winding functionalities. Though not well-known by timepieces with his own signature, his work and concepts were adopted by good quality makers/retailers such as Viner and Roskell. The commercial aspects of his career, however, lacked the success of his technical attainment and his personal/domestic life was dogged by brushes with the Law through persistent indebtedness.

Early clocks in English woodcuts
by William Linnard (pages 255-259)
Summary: The earliest illustrations of English domestic clocks so far recorded date from the middle of the sixteenth century. This paper describes two clocks that feature in early English woodcuts of 1509 and 1519. As such they are the earliest images of domestic clocks known in Britain.

The electro-magnetic verge by Chris McKay (pages 260-263)
An interesting case by Guy Boney Q.C. (pages 264-266)

The issue totals 144 pages and is illustrated mainly in colour, and is completed by the regular sections Horological News, AHS Programme and Calendar, AHS News, Letters to the Editor and Further reading.