A formal mahogany case tall clock with break arch bonnet and brass composite dial signed "George Farquharson / London." 217116.

George Farquharson is listed in Brian Loomes’ “Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World” as working in the Strand (London) in 1789 through 1793. By the time he had set up shop, the city of London had been the leading center of clockmaking for more that a 100 years. As a result, clocks made there were of the latest style and often of the best quality.

This is a very impressive example. This case exhibits wonderful figured mahogany wood selections throughout its construction. The mahogany color is rich and warm and is pleasing to look over. The base is supported on a nicely formed double stepped bracket molding. The apron is fancifully shaped having multiple drops and an interesting scrolled detail. The stepping of the base moldings transition in an orderly fashion up to the base of the case. Here, a figured panel is applied to the forward facing surface. This is trimmed with an applied molding. Please note that this panel is not a standard square or rectangle. In fact it is more complicated having cutout corners. The base section transitions up into the waist with a flared throat molding. The waist is long and is fitted with a large, full size waist door. This door is a modified tombstone form and it is also trimmed with an applied molding. Through this door, one can access the brass covered lead weights and brass covered pendulum bob. The front corners of the waist are inset with brass stop fluted quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals and bases. The waist section transitions to the hood with a second flared molding. The bonnet or hood is a break arch form. This double molding design is separated by three fluted plinths. These separate the decorative scrolled out blind frets. Brass stop fluted bonnet columns visually support the arched molding. These are mounted in brass Doric shaped capitals. The bonnet door is arched and fitted with glass. It opens to access the dial.

This style of brass dial predates the painted dial. Brass dials are very expensive to manufacture because brass was the most expensive material used in constructing a clock. This dial form is constructed with a solid sheet of brass that is decorated with applied cast brass spandrels, applied rings that are treated with a silver wash, matted centers, an inset subsidiary seconds dial and a calendar aperture with calendar date ring. The six spandrels are a rococo form and are cast in a yellow brass. The arch spandrels frame the “Strike / Silent” selector. This is a device that allows one to turn the striking train of the clock on or off. This might be useful if you were to put this clock outside your bedroom. The large ring is the time ring. The hours are indicated in large Roman numerals. A closed minute ring separates the hours from the Arabic style five minute makers. The lower quadrant of the ring the location of the Clockmaker’s signature. His signature and working location are written in a script letter format. A subsidiary seconds dial is located in the traditional location. Interestingly, it features Arabic figures at ten second intervals. This dial is treated with a silver wash for contrast. The matted treatment is a process of texturing the dial by hand with a hammer and tool. This treatment aided one in the ability to located the hands while reading the dial. In the period in which this clock was made, brass dials had a tendency to tarnish quickly in rooms heated by coal or lit by candle or oil light. The dust and the smoke would oxidize the brass quickly. As a result, it could make a dial like this somewhat difficult to read in a poorly lit room. Today, the environment in one’s home is so much cleaner and as a result, they maintain their contrasting for generations.

The movement is constructed in brass having nicely finished cast brass plates which are supported by ring turned brass posts. The gearing is brass and the pinions are hardened steel. This mechanism is weight driven and designed to run eight days on a full wind. The winding barrels grooved. This clock strikes each hour on a bell mounted above the plates. The strike train is located between the plates and is actuated by a rack and snail design. The movement is supported by a seaboard. The pendulum features a metal rod and a brass faced lead bob.

This clock was made circa 1790 and stands approximately 7 feet 8.5 inches tall (92.5). At the feet, this clock is 22 inches wide and 10.5 inches deep.



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