Current issue of Antiquarian Horology


Volume 44, Issue 3 September 2023

The front cover shows the clock tower in Padua. Photo Paul Tuck.
The section AHS News in this issue contains an extensive and richly illustrated report of this year’s AHS Study Tour to Italy.

This issue contains the following articles:

‘The life and watches of William Anthony (1764/68–1844/47). Part 2, his watches’
by Ian White (pages 322–338)

‘The Bull family of clockmakers Part 1. John Bull (c. 1535–1589)’
by Adrian A Finch, Valerie J Finch and Anthony W Finch (pages 339–352)
Summary: The earliest English clock- and watch-makers came to prominence in London in the late Tudor period. One of the key families in early London clockmaking was the Bull family, several of whom were clockmakers or mathematical instrument-makers of note. This article describes the first member of the family: John Bull, a mathematical instrument-maker. We show that John was primarily a goldsmith working in jewellery who recognised the potential of the mathematical instrument trade. He employed Dutch engravers and watchmakers, including Michael Nouwen, to produce items that were sold from a workshop in the newly-built Royal Exchange. Nouwen trained Randolph Bull in John’s workshop and we consider this a key moment in the development of the London horology trade. John was appointed as royal clock-keeper, presumably after the death of Bartholomew Newsam in 1587, the first London guild member to hold the post. He worked for the Crown through two of the most eventful years in British history, serving in the royal entourage at the time of the Spanish Armada, but died only a few years later in 1589. John Bull’s workshop is the historical nexus point as we trace the training of many of the clockmakers of Stuart London back in time.

‘ ‘Forever addicted to the mechanical’– Rudolf Kaftan and the Vienna Clock Museum’
by Tabea Rude (pages 353–368)
Summary: The Vienna Clock Museum was founded in 1917 in the middle of the First World War. Its nucleus was formed from the collection of a single collector, Rudolf Kaftan (1870–1961), who would shape the museum’s fate and character for the next forty-four years. This article, based closely on the Harrison Lecture delivered to the Clockmakers Company in September 2022, charts the evolution and development of the museum in tandem with examining some facets of Rudolf Kaftan’s life.

‘The conservation treatment of a refracting telescope on a universal equatorial mount c. 1741, signed Hindley, YORK
by Timothy M. Hughes and Matthew Read (pages 369–376)
Summary: Henry Hindley (1701–1771), clockmaker, watchmaker and maker of scientific instruments, was born in Wigan and worked in York from 1731 until his death. Hindley was the maker of the world’s first equatorially-mounted telescope, which can now be seen in Burton Constable Hall, East Yorkshire. The Hindley telescope is the subject of this article; the conservation ethos and methods described in the full report are relevant to the conservation of a wide range of historic dynamic objects, including clocks and watches. The communication of conservation processes is also, we believe, important to the wider understanding of time-finding and time-telling collections. (Read this article here)

‘From oil painting to enamel watch case: a latter day Metamorphosis’
by Anthony Turner (pages 377–380)
Summary: Combined use of documents and surviving paintings permits the process by which an original scene was transferred from a painting to a watch case to be illustrated, and confirms an attribution that has been contested.

There is also a 2-page note ‘BEHIND THE STARS — a free app using interactive versions of astronomical instruments to comprehend the heavens’, by Frederik Nehm & Michael Korey, and an announcement of a Special Sale of R.T. Gould ephemera for AHS Charitable Funds.

‘Unfreezing Time #15’ by Patricia Fara (pages 392–393) (Read the whole series of articles here)

The issue totals 144 pages and is illustrated mainly in colour, and is completed by the regular sections Horological News, Book Reviews, AHS News, Notes from the Librarian, Letters and Further Reading.