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.