J. Smith & Son of St. John's Square, Clerkenwell, England. An elaborately cased year running regulator.

An important high grade astronomical regulator designed to run a year on a full winding. This clock was made in Clerkenwell, England circa 1875. This very clock is pictured in Dererk Roberts, English Precision Pendulum Clocks on page 235, plates 22-9A and B.

This regulator is very unusual in that it is designed to run one year with each winding. Very few regulators are formatted in this manner This regulator is very unusual in that it is designed to run one year with each winding. Very few regulators are formatted in this manner due to the incredible difficultly in manufacturing a movement to run this long. This timepiece is working a testament to the high level of skill possessed by this clockmaking company. This movement is exceptional quality. The plates are heavily constructed and are substantial. The large rectangular shaped plates are secured by four heavy brass pillars. These are secured in place with large screws through both plates. The movement features a Graham dead-beat escapement. The gearing is oversized and very light. A number of these gears are designed with eight crossings. They are supported on hardened steel shafts. Other construction features include, Harrison’s maintaining power, a grooved winding barrel in order to track the winding cord, a fine adjustment for the beat is located at the top of the crutch assembly and an adjustment for the crutch fork itself. The pendulum is carried or supported by a heavy brass bracket that is mounted to the backplate. A nicely shaped cradle locks the pendulum in place. The pendulum features a steel flat bar rod that supports a single glass jar. The jar holds a volume of mercury. This is used for temperature compensation. This jar is is supported by a decorative cradle. It is attractive and incorporates a fine regulation adjustment in its design. A large brass cylindrical weight powers this movement. The weight is compounded and descends down the left side of the case. The pulley that holds the weight is decoratively formed and features six crossings. It is also very well made.

The movement is mounted onto a decorative wooden bracket. The movement plates are fitted with a total of three large brass brackets. Two are located at the back and one is located on the front plate. Two shaped thumb screws attach from the bottom of the wooden mount up though and into the brass mounting brackets. A third screw is centered and screws into a bracket that mounted onto the front plate of the movement. The wooden bracket is attached to the backboard of the clock case. This bracket is finely finished and features some of the same decorative moldings exhibited in the case design.

This brass dial is engraved in an astronomical dial format having individual dials for the seconds, minutes and an hour display. Please note that the hours are formatted with Roman style numerals in the traditional 12 hour format. The minutes and seconds registrars are marked in an Arabic form. This dial is engraved with the Marker’s name across the middle. It reads, “J. SMITH & SONCLERKENWELL.” This brass dial is treated with a silver wash. This provide a stark contrast between it and the engraved details as well as the three blued steel hands. A brass trim ring frames the dial.

The case is constructed in mahogany and is described by Loomes as and “elaborate variant of the arched case form.” It features the best selections of flamboyantly figured mahogany veneers. The case is raised up off the floor on large pad feet. The base moldings and the base section are constructed in a stepped design giving it a three dimensional quality The middle section of the base is set inwards by almost .75 inches and the moldings are designed to follow this usual form. The upper base molding is a cove design. The lower edge of which is carved in an egg and dart pattern. The waist section features three large sections of glass. One is located on the front and two are used in the design of the sides. The backboard is veneered with mahogany. The two side and front glass panels are framed with large fluted columns. These terminate in carved capitals The top of the arch on the front section is also embellished with carvings. These carvings are well executed. The front panel forms a door which is secured in place with two pins and a cabinet lock and key. The lock is located at the top of the case. Through the glass this one can view the dial, movement, pendulum and weight. You will also be able to see the pendulum swing indicator. This is mounted to the top of the base panel and is positioned below the pendulum. To the right is a hole. The weight will descend through this hole and into the base in order to increase the run time.

This clock was made circa 1875. This case measures approximately 6 feet and 9 inches (91 inches) tall to the top of the molding. At the base molding, the case is 23 inches wide and 12.75 inches deep.


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