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    Sale 7604

    Important Clocks and Marine Chronometers

    1 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 26

    A George IV rolling ball skeleton timepiece, made after the model by Sir William Congreve


    Price Realised  


    A George IV rolling ball skeleton timepiece, made after the model by Sir William Congreve
    John Walker, London. Circa 1830
    The square brass frame joined by four brass columns with ball and spire finials and raised on adjustable ball feet, the rolling ball platform with fine grooves, pivoting on knife edges and tripping every 30 seconds with an arcaded bridge in the centre of the platform with windows displaying the silvered seconds as the ball rolls beneath, the movement with single chain fusee, delicate high count train, the wheels with six crossings and screwed to their collets, the gable plates joined by four ring-turned pillars and fronted by silvered Roman and Arabic chapter rings for the hours, minutes and seconds with delicate blued steel hands, the applied silvered plaque signed Jno,, Walker, 40 Princes St,, Leicester Sqe,,,/LONDON.; mounted within a fully glazed ebonised case with velvet-lined base and four square brass locating blocks; winding key, steel ball
    17½ in. (44.5 cm.) high, over case

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    D. Roberts, British Skeleton Clocks, Woodbridge, 1987

    William Congreve was born in 1772, the son of a baronet to whose title he succeeded in 1814. He is principally known for inventing the Congreve Rocket, which was used during the latter part of the Napoleonic wars. In 1808 Congreve patented his rolling ball clock. The first clock was made to his design by Gravell & Tolkien and was presented to the Prince Regent. It was later passed to the Royal Regiment of Artillery at Woolwich, where Congreve was an officer, and now resides in the Museum of Artillery. This first example was weight-driven but subsequent examples are spring-driven. Congreve did not make his rolling ball clocks himself, instead they were made by highly regarded clockmakers such as John Moxon.
    Other examples comparable to the present clock have been sold, Christie's London, Important Clocks and Scientific Instruments from the Collection of the late Professor E.T.Hall C.B.E., 11 July 2003, lot 138; Christie's London, Important Clocks, Barometers and Marine Chronometers, 2 July 2004, lot 133; Christie's London, The Albert Odmark Collection of Important Clocks and Watches. Examples are also illustrated in Roberts, pp.80-81, plates 3/2, 3/3, 3/4 and p.192, plate 34.
    John Walker is recorded being at 40 Princes Street, Leicester Square, London from 1830 to 1880.

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    The Earls of Guilford and by descent

    Pre-Lot Text