Recent issues of Antiquarian Horology

Volume 39, Issue 4, December 2018

The front cover shows an overview of the exhibition Innovation & Collaboration. The early development of the pendulum clock in London held in London from 3 to 14 September 2018. This issue contains a report of the exhibition as well as a review of the book that was published with it.
Photo: Benjamin Thomas for the Innovation & Collaboration Clock Exhibition,

This issue contains the following articles:

‘An early Gothic Hausuhr
by John A. Robey (pages  475-484)
Summary: A Gothic Hausuhr with a very unusual frame construction and original wheels, including the crownwheel, is discussed. A careful forensic-like study of repairs and modifications indicates that it has been in use for a considerable period and is of an early date. Technical features, especially the form of the suspension gallows, suggest that it originated from southeastern Austria.

‘Louis Ourry (1643–1699). A Huguenot clockmaker in Paris and an early bedchamber clock from his workshop’
by Erik Wauters and Chris Schouten (pages 485-503)
Summary: The restoration of a simple bedchamber clock (pendule d’alcove) raised certain questions, which led to the writing of this article. An in-depth study of the movement, especially in relation to the case, gives an insight into the business of clock-making in seventeenth-century Paris. The maker, Louis Ourry, is discussed on the basis of available documentation. His working life is related with reference to his background, his family relationships, his customers and the inventory of his stock; all this against the political backdrop of anti-Huguenot sentiment during the reign of Louis XIV. What emerges is not the portrait of an artisan craftsman slaving away at his bench, but rather the rough sketch of an owner/manager of a clockmaking enterprise.

‘The John Smeaton family from York and their horological connections. Part 1 – The York years’ 
by Chris Watson (pages 504-512)
The purpose of this two-part article is to review and, where possible, enlarge upon the known horological aspects of the John Smeaton family from York. Part 1 covers the family background and the work of the first John Smeaton and his son, the second John. Part 2 will be primarily concerned with the extent to which the renowned civil engineer, John Smeaton FRS, became involved in horological matters throughout his remarkable career.

‘Drocourt’s porcelain tributes to Romantic Love and Royal Victory. Art-historical appreciation of rare carriage clocks’
by Larry L. Fabian (pages 513-527)
Victorian-era French carriage clocks with exceptional porcelain painting have long been admired by discerning collectors both for their horological quality and for the beauty of their panels and dials. Rarely, however, do images on the finest examples lend themselves to an art-historical interpretation. The Parisian atelier of Alfred Drocourt finished two such examples in the late nineteenth century. One was a coming-of-age gift presented to a young woman from a family with a distinguished ancestral history in Wales and England. Her clock’s porcelain bears an illustrious and impeccable eighteenth-century French artistic pedigree. The porcelain painting on another Drocourt evokes a celebration of France’s military prowess in Flanders during the reign of Louis XV. Art-historical perspectives not only enhance our appreciation of these two clocks as objets d’art, but also suggest potentially promising lines of inquiry about other fine French porcelain carriage clocks whose artistry merits similar analysis. (Read this article here)

‘Timepieces in Victorian narrative painting’
by Louise Cooling (pages 528-544)
For the nineteenth-century practitioners of narrative painting, timepieces were part of an established iconography inherited from William Hogarth and the masters of Dutch Golden Age genre painting. In an age of growing consciousness of time, during which both public and personal timepieces were increasingly common, the material associations and symbolic meaning of timepieces were exploited to great effect by artists. This paper was first presented at the Ward Francillon Time Symposium 2017 at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, with the kind support of the AHS. An abridged version of this article appeared in Watch & Clock Bulletin No. 433: May/June 2018.

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

Top of Page


Volume 39, Issue 3, September 2018

The front cover shows the winding barrel click work of the turret clock of Wells cathedral. The clock is one of the three ancient English turret clocks discussed and compared in this issue by Keith Scobie-Youngs.

This issue contains the following articles:

Salisbury, Wells and Rye –  the great clocks revisited
by Keith Scobie-Youngs (pages 327-341)
Summary: There has been scholarly argument over the age of the three large wrought iron clocks of Salisbury and Wells cathedrals and St Mary’s church at Rye for many decades. At whatever date the clocks were made, the author argues there is a persuasive body of evidence to support the proposition that all three clocks were by the same hand. This article is derived from the material presented by the author in the AHS London Lecture Series, as reported in Antiquarian Horology June 2014. (Read this article here)

The universe on the table. The Buschman Renaissance clock of the National Maritime Museum
by Víctor Pérez Álvare (pages 342-360)
Summary: The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich holds in its collections a Renaissance clock with astronomical complications made in Augsburg at the end of the sixteenth century. Beside the clock, the museum library holds its anonymous instruction booklet printed in Geneva in 1704. The clock is signed by Buschman, a prominent Augsburg maker, and is said to have belonged to John Casimir Vasa, king of Poland in the seventeenth century. This article discusses the authorship of the clock by comparing it with a twin clock from the same period signed by another maker. Whether it did indeed once belong to the Polish king is queried, with reference to his post mortem goods sale. This article uses written sources as well as the evidence from the clock itself, which was taken apart recently to study its history.

The story behind the Geneva Clock Company, their trademark JTC and their miniature Swiss carriage clocks
by Thomas R. Wotruba (pages 361-367)
The name Geneva Clock Company and its associated trademark JTC occurred on many miniature carriage clocks of high quality and attractive design during the 1880s to the 1930s. These were of Swiss manufacture but many were destined for export to England and other countries. This article brings together information from many sources to help expand our understanding and appreciation of this company, its history, and its operation.

Usher & Cole workbooks
by Terence Camerer Cuss (pages 368-374)
This article describes the surviving workbooks of the manufacturing firm of Usher and Cole of London, acquired by the author’s family with the purchase of the company in 1958. The workbooks are now presented to the Clockmakers’ Company Library, and this note marks the gift by briefly summarising this most interesting and important horological archive.

The history of Josiah Emery’s lever escapement gold watch No. 929
by Søren Andersen & Poul Darnell (pages 375-379)
Josiah Emery (1731–1794) made more than thirty lever escapement watches. This article traces the history of No. 929, which is preserved in the Steno Museum in Aarhus, Denmark. It was bought directly from the maker by the Danish Count Knuth, and was used by the Danish astronomers Thomas Bugge and Heinrich Christian Schumacher. It was modified by the watchmaker Heinrich Johann Kessels.

Museum profile: ‘The Museum of Horology and Mechanical Music in Oberhofen, Switzerland’
by Fortunat Müller-Maerki (pages 380-387)

Picture Gallery: by Peter Gosnell (pages 388-393)

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

Top of Page


Volume 39, Issue 2, June 2018

The front cover shows part of The Paston Treasure, a remarkable still life painting which is the centrepiece of an exhibition masterminded jointly by the Yale Center for British Art and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. In the painting, a clock, a watch and a sand-glass are carefully depicted, and these are discussed by Jonathan Betts.

This issue contains the following articles:

Jacques Goullons (c. 1600–1671), master clockmaker on the Île de la Cité, Paris
by Catherine Cardinal (pages 185–201)
Summary:Watches carrying the signature ‘Goullons AParis’ are preserved in several museums and private collections. They all date from between 1630 and 1660 or thereabouts, and are characterised by the quality of their decoration and the care taken over their movements. Tthe aim of this study is to give some details about their maker, Jacques Goullons, an Huguenot master clockmaker working on the Île de la Cité in Paris. His life was full, occupied by his activity as clockmaker and tradesman in his shop in the courtyard of the palace, by his family through three marriages, and by his network of friends in the community of Calvinist craftsmen, all which activities are revealed by new archival documents.

William Shortland the Elder of Stony Stratford (c. 1690–1744). A hitherto undocumented clockmaker, trained by Joseph Knibb at Hanslope
by Edward Hudson (pages 202–214)
Summary:This article identifies a previously undocumented North Buckinghamshire maker of quality longcase clocks, William Shortland [the Elder] (c. 1690–1744) who worked in Stony Stratford 1712–44. His production had previously been attributed to his clockmaking son of the same name (1716–80). Through archival research prompted by inspection of an early eighteenth-century longcase bearing his name, the article traces his origins in rural Northamptonshire and his apprenticeship, apparently ‘turned over’ from a nominee master in the Blacksmiths’ Company to Joseph Knibb at Hanslope. It also throws new light on Knibb’s family connections in South Northamptonshire and on the background of his Hanslope apprentice James Hunt.

Showtime at Oxnead: The timekeepers depicted in The Paston Treasure
by Jonathan Betts (pages 215–224)
The Paston Treasure is a remarkable, large still life painting commissioned from an unknown (probably Dutch) artist in the early 1660s, by a member of the wealthy landowning Paston family of Oxnead Hall in Norfolk. This year the painting is the centrepiece of an important exhibition masterminded jointly by the Yale Center for British Art and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, the home of the painting and where the exhibition is to be held between 23 June and 23 September. Three horological devices are carefully depicted in the painting and this article discusses the objects themselves and their significance in the crowded still life ensemble of the work. Three equivalent pieces, loaned for the exhibition and illustrated in this article, represent the kind of object depicted in the painting. (Read this article here)

Edward John Dent’s glass springs, archive and technical analysis combined 
by Jenny Bulstrode and Andrew Meek (pages 225–243)
Clockmakers have long pioneered the design and experimentation of new materials, often in response to demands from the state as well as the market. Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century research into the errors to which marine chronometers were liable is a superb example of this. Balance springs made of hard-drawn gold, resistant to oxidation, were used by John Arnold from the late 1770s, and subsequently by his son John Roger, until Arnold senior’s death. In 1828, Johann Gottlieb Ulrich patented a non-ferrous balance, while, in Glasgow that same year, James Scrymgeour produced a flat spiral made entirely of glass. It is the remarkable application of glass to the construction of balance springs that is the concern of this article. Specifically, the efforts of the firm of Arnold & Dent, and later Dent alone, to secure the performance of their marine chronometers against variations in homogeneity, magnetism, temperature and elasticity, by using new materials for their balance springs.

Top hits of the eighteenth century on bell-playing clocks
by Marieke Lefeber-Morsman (pages 244–250)
If you were well off in the eighteenth century, you could adorn your grand house with a luxuriously built, valuable clock. If you wanted even more, you could acquire one with a mechanical musical instrument that performed a melody at set times. Often there were several lyrics known to these melodies. However, even though their owners and surroundings were definitely elegant and high-end, the lyrics of the songs were often quite the opposite. They were comical lyrics about farmers, wooing or booze.

New light on Osborne and Wilson
by John A. Robey (pages 251–258)
A recently discovered employment agreement of 1772 shows that the partnership between Osborne and Wilson that made the earliest painted dials in England needs radical revision to confirm the original business partners. Also the key involvement and influence of third parties in establishing a successful business needs to be recognised. As well as a proposal by Osborne & Wilson to japan gun barrels, James Wilson was involved with relatives in making tortoiseshell boxes, while a fire at his Birmingham clock dial manufactory may have hastened his death.

There is a short note:
Saint Teilo’s bell by Willam Linnard (pages 259–260)

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

Top of Page


Volume 39, Issue 1, March 2018

The front cover shows the Henlein medal, 1905. He is shown as a conqueror, the portable watch in his left hand being a victory over the ‘old’ immovable weightdriven clocks, represented by the weight with a chain under his right foot 
Photo: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg.
For further information on the Henlein iconography see the article by Günther Oestmann in this issue.

This issue contains the following articles:

Timing the stars: astronomers, clockmakers and German precision horology around 1800
by Sibylle Gluch (pages 34–54)
Summary: This article is based on the Dingwall-Beloe Horological Lecture delivered at the British Museum on 17 November 2016. It discusses the interconnections between astronomy and horology in eighteenth-century Germany. It examines the concept of precision underlying the use of clocks in astronomy, and the collaboration between astronomers and clock- and watchmakers in the early days of German precision horology. To this end the article presents two case studies: an early Dresden regulator clock, used and probably also constructed by the astronomer Johann Gottfried Köhler, and the construction process behind what is likely to be the first German lever watch. The examples highlight the ways in which knowledge was transmitted from the centres of horology to the periphery, but also disclose the difficulties such transfer entailed.

The first transparent watch
by Juan F. Déniz (pages 55–68)
Summary: In the year 1888 a timepiece saw the light of day whose distinguishing feature – transparency – had not been seen before in watches. Through contemporary press reviews and exhibitions it can be ascertained what impact it had on the fin de siècle context. The third part of this article focuses on the technical-aesthetic qualities of the model to gain a complete overview in order to determine its relative importance in the history of watchmaking. Read this article here

New light on French enamel painting (1630–1660): tondi as models for the decoration of watches
by Catherine Cardinal (pages 69–79)
Summary: Watches produced in Paris and Blois between c. 1630 and c. 1660 lent themselves through their shape to the depiction of historical subjects painted on enamel that are frequently based on engravings. This article presents some examples of watches whose decoration was based, not on engravings, but on tondi (round paintings) by two French painters, Sébastian Bourdon and Charles Poerson. It also investigates the material circumstances that allowed enamel-painters to have recourse to tondi, revealing the personal connections that existed between these two types of artist.

Sixty years of AHS study tours
by Peter de Clercq (pages 80–91)
Summary:  Between 1957 and 2016, members of the AHS undertook almost thirty horological study tours abroad or to regions in the UK, which were reported in the journal. Drawing on these reports, this article gives an overview of the tours and discusses those who organized the tours and guided the groups. It is illustrated with previously unpublished photos from the collection of R. H. Miles.

Early watches—The argument over priority in Italy and Germany
by Günther Oestmann (pages 92–97)
Summary: Peter Henlein – Nuremberg – the world’s first pocket watch: these three notions seem to be inextricably linked, but were (and are) heavily contested. These disputes are described briefly, with special consideration of the life and work of Enrico Morpurgo, professor of Italian in Amsterdam (1894–1972).

Welsh time balls and time guns
by William Linnard (pages 98–102)
Summary: An account is given of the various time balls that were in operation in Cardiff and Newport during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and also of the time guns installed in Swansea at about the same time. None of these historic and now obsolete time-signalling systems seems to have functioned very satisfactorily.

An unusual electrical time switch on a turret clock signed Selfe of Greenwich
by Chris McKay (pages 103–107)
Summary: The article discusses a small turret clock with an original electrical mechanism to turn the lighting behind the dials on and off at set times. It was probably made by Thwaites and Reed of London in the period 1895–1918. It is signed for the clock- and watchmaker Francis Crese Selfe (1855–1944). The possible original situation of the clock in or around Greenwich is also discussed.

There are two short notes:
Henry Jones of London: his birth, marriage and family by Andrew James (pages 108–111)
A relic of the Gold Rush by David Read (page 112)

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

Top of Page


Volume 38, Issue 4, December 2017

The front cover shows a detail of a line engraving, captioned ‘MODERN CHURCH CLOCK’, from Bailey’s Illustrated & Useful Inventions, a catalogue dated c. 1880, now available in a facsimile edition. For more information see the Book reviews section in this issue.
Photo courtesy of Chris McKay

This issue contains the following articles:

Edward East (1602–c. 1695) Part 2 – The Restoration and the latter years of the East business
by Valerie J. Finch, Adrian A. Finch, Anthony W. Finch (pages 478-490)
Summary: This is part two of an article outlining the life and times of Edward East, one of the most recognised clockmaking names of the seventeenth century.
(Part 1 in Antiquarian Horology, September 2017, Volume 38 Issue 3)

The horological trade in Georgian London: evidence from Old Bailey trials
by D. J. Bryden (pages 491-512)
Summary: The Old Bailey has been the Central Criminal Court for London since the seventeenth century. This article offers an analysis of trials between 1715 and 1839 in which London clock and watch trade operatives are named. They appear as victims, as direct or indirect witnesses, or as persons accused of a crime. Many hitherto unrecorded members of the trade are named in these records. Of particular interest are those cases where the evidence sheds light on the practices of the London trade. A two-part appendix (available here for AHS members) provides a by-date summary of those involved, with a brief note on the case.

Edmund Howard (1710–1798): A Quaker Clockmaker in Chelsea
by James Nye (pages 513-532)
Summary: A manuscript autobiography compiled in 1785, which has been widely used by historians but apparently escaped notice by horologists, provides us with a rich account of the life of a struggling Chelsea clockmaker, Edmund Howard—a maker virtually unrecorded in the horological literature. A Quaker, yet with few good words for his fellow Friends, Howard lived a long and fascinating life through the bulk of the eighteenth century. An online transcription of his 24,000 word autobiography is now available, alongside images of the manuscript—see—it makes for an extraordinary and worthwhile read. This article offers a distilled and horologically focussed narrative, relying in large part on the original text.

Adam, the Devil and the Supernatural: An unusual English lantern clock revisited
by John A. Robey (pages 533-544)
Summary: The unusual lantern clock, previously described in Antiquarian Horology, September 2010, with unique pillars that include a male figure wearing breeches, has been re-examined. He has now been identified as representing a Puritan image of Adam. Comparisons are made with other depictions of Adam in a similar pose, but this is the only known example of him wearing breeches, as mistranslated in the Breeches Bible. An apotropaic saltire cross was included to ward off witches and prevent evil spirits from causing malfunction, while a Devil’s head was a reminder of his evil influence. Examples of other apotropaic marks on the ironwork of lantern clocks are also discussed, as are its possible date, origin and the wigglework on the dial. Read this article here.

Carriage clocks with a unique winding system: the bottom-wind
by Thomas R. Wotruba (pages 545-553)
Summary: A unique winding method for carriage clocks appeared toward the end of the nineteenth century whereby a permanent single key in the base at the bottom of the clock wound in turn both the time side and the strike side barrels. This article describes this ‘bottom-wind’ mechanism and its underlying British patent, and gives some information about its inventor and the carriage clocks of Le Roy & Fils to which it was applied.

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

Top of Page


Volume 38, Issue 3, September 2017

The front cover shows Martin Burgess and the Hares and Tortoises clock, photographed in 1971, four years after completion of the clock. The work of Martin Burgess, now in his eighty-fifth year, is discussed in this issue by Jonathan Betts. Photo courtesy of Will Andrewes

This issue contains the following articles:

Mechanical clocks and the advent of scientific astronomy
by Dietrich Matthes & Rocío Sánchez-Barrios (pages 328-342)
Summary: We give an overview of the role of the mechanical clock in the development of scientific astronomy up to the end of the sixteenth century. Specific attention is paid to indication accuracy of clocks for this purpose. We present the earliest currently known watch with a minute hand and with reading accuracy up to 10 seconds as well as the earliest and often overlooked archival note on a timepiece with a seconds hand. Furthermore we calculate and discuss the impact of indication accuracy on observation accuracy. We focus mostly on indication accuracy first, movement accuracy of the clocks is discussed at the end.

Edward East (1602–c. 1695). Part 1 – Early Stuart period and Commonwealth
by Valerie J. Finch, Adrian A. Finch, Anthony W. Finch (pages 343-364)
Summary: This is the first part of an article outlining the life and times of Edward East, one of the most recognised clockmaking names of the seventeenth century.  Here we describe his early years: his apprenticeship and period as a journeyman. We outline his life and connections with other makers of the time. East made his name against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent times in British history. For the majority of his life he was based in London where he would have seen the monarch make frequent state processions through the streets, witnessed public beheadings and burnings, and experienced the Civil War with the execution of Charles I and the establishment of a Republic. We show how East’s rise was helped by marriage and the early death of a more senior journeyman in the business for which he worked. He fended off legal challenges to his business and coped with the fluctuating fortunes of his brothers. He also rode the complex ambiguities of the seventeenth-century guild system, making sure that he benefited from membership of two guilds and through ownership of workshops both within and outside guild control.

Galileo, Huygens and the invention of the pendulum clock
by Sebastian Whitestone (pages 365-384)
Summary: This article is based on a lecture delivered to the Society in September 2016 giving an account of the invention of the pendulum clock that differs substantially from traditional versions.

Martin Burgess, sculptural clockmaker
by Jonathan Betts (pages 385-393)
Summary: This article looks briefly at the career of sculptural clockmaker Martin Burgess, marking his 85th year and, for those less familiar with his oeuvre, describes one of his remarkable creations. The clock known as the ‘Hares and Tortoises’, made fifty years ago this year, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Burgess’s work.

The horological legacy of Stanley John Wise
by Geoffrey A. Horner (pages 394- 402)
Summary: Stanley John Wise FBHI (1886–1963) was an electrical engineer and a keen horologist and model engineer. His book Electric Clocks is an important reference work on the subject. In the 1920s he secured an electric clock patent and briefly went into limited commercial production of clocks under the name The Wise Time Company. He is mostly known for having made ‘one-off’ clocks himself, including unusual miniature electric clocks. His collection of electric clocks and models was sold at auction in 2012. This article is a much shortened version of the author’s Technical Paper No. 86 on Wise, published in 2014 by the Electrical Horology Group of the AHS, but includes photos of the products and operation of The Wise Time Company that have emerged after publication of the Technical Paper. Read this article here

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.

Top of Page


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.

Top of Page


Volume 38, Issue 1, March 2017

The front cover features an enamelled dial showing the times of sunrise throughout the year designed by Charles Clay with central gold disc with hand representing the face of the sun. 10.5 cms diameter. The clock is the subject of the article by Tessa Murdoch in this issue. Photo courtesy of Dreweatts 1759 Bloomsbury Auctions.

It contains the following articles:

The origin of the English lantern clock Part 2: The earliest lantern clocks
by John A. Robey (pages 35-50)
Summary: The second part of this article looks at the observation that the lantern clock appeared fully formed with no surviving prototypes. Possible transitional clocks are considered, but none can be regarded as a precursor to the English lantern clock. Continental clocks that influenced the design of the lantern clocks are also considered and some of the factors that led to the design of this specifically English clock are discussed. It is suggested that a major factor was the ease of working brass castings compared to the skills needed to forge iron wheels and frames.


A royal acquisition for the Victoria and Albert Museum
by Tessa Murdoch (pages 51-60)
Summary: An English mantel clock, with a movement signed ‘Clay’ for Charles Clay, housed in an ormolu case manufactured in Paris, was shown at London’s Masterpiece Fair July 2015. The author identified it as that described in Peter Dutens’s 1736 bill to Frederick Prince of Wales preserved in the Duchy of Cornwall Archives. The clock was acquired by the V&A in 2016. This article describes and illustrates the clock, its history and the craftsmen involved in its production. Prince Frederick’s Franco-British clock epitomizes the new Rococo taste and is an important icon for the study of French influence on decorative art produced in London in the 1730s.

The inertia escapement—William Hamilton Shortt’s first step towards the free pendulum
by Tabea Rude (pages 61-73)
Summary: William Hamilton Shortt is best known for the development of a highly successful free pendulum clock, c. 1923. Largely unknown are the much less successful predecessor clocks from the previous decade: the inertia escapement clock, the triangle regulator clock and other similar experimental clocks intended as designs for high precision timekeeping. Through the conservation process of one of these experimental models—an inertia escapement clock—we can add to the existing body of research. Studying the object, with input from Robert Miles and James Nye, more of the experimental underpinning for the development of Shortt’s thought process has emerged. We add to the literature with a comparative study of details of three of the four known surviving inertia escapement clocks. This has been completed through physical examination, but also using photographs. Importantly, it has been possible to conduct experiments on one of the clocks. Both Hope-Jones and Shortt described the inertia escapement as a failure in the quest for higher accuracy. A practical examination allows us to understand better their conclusion, and illuminate the elements of the inertia escapement that survived in the later free pendulum.

The National 15. The decline of British watchmaking and the role of Smiths in a hoped for recovery
by David Read (pages 74-89)
Summary: By 1870, the development of factory based manufacturing in the USA had changed the nature of the horological industry. The Swiss responded and modernised, but the trade in the UK resisted change, and declined dramatically as a result. In consequence the United Kingdom entered World War Two without a horological industry that could provide the high grade watches that were an essential strategic resource. A significant proportion of what was left of British clock and watchmaking, including H. Williamson Ltd, had been acquired by Smiths and the government was keen to support a national revival of the high quality segment of the industry that would match the specifications laid down by the Armed Forces and would, in due course, form the basis for successful domestic sales. How this was achieved forms the subject matter for this article. Read this article here

A comparison of early marine timekeepers, from Harrison to Earnshaw
by A.D. Stewart (pages 90-100)
Summary: The prolonged trials of early marine timekeepers carried out at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, starting with Harrison’s H4 in 1766 and ending with Earnshaw No. 1 & No. 2 in 1804, are here compared by computing numerical values for their acceleration, sensitivity to temperature and precision.

The Crystal Palace clock
by James Nye (pages 101-107)
Summary: A notable turret clock, by Dent, installed for much of its life at Crystal Palace in Sydenham, south of London, disappeared along with everything else in the conflagration of 1936. Its three-quarter-century life story is retold here, based largely on a text by T.R. Robinson published in the Watch and Clockmaker in 1935. Read this article here

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

Top of Page