• English Furniture and Clocks auction at Christies

    Sale 7769

    English Furniture and Clocks

    19 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 77

    A VICTORIAN ORMOLU EIGHT DAY TIMEPIECE MANTEL CLOCK

    BENJAMIN LEWIS VULLIAMY, LONDON, NO. 1452. CIRCA 1840

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VICTORIAN ORMOLU EIGHT DAY TIMEPIECE MANTEL CLOCK
    BENJAMIN LEWIS VULLIAMY, LONDON, NO. 1452. CIRCA 1840
    CASE: heavily cast with foliate scrolls and shells, centred by a grotesque mask, with integral plinth DIAL: engraved and silvered, engine-turned centre, signed 'VULLIAMY LONDON', blued steel moon hands MOVEMENT: with single chain fusee, half dead beat anchor escapement, rise and fall pendulum regulation, back plate signed 'Vulliamy/LONDON/1452'; original numbered steel rod pendulum
    11 in. (28 cm.) high; 8¼ in. (21 cm.) wide; 6½ in. (16.5 cm.) deep


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    Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854) was the third generation in his family's clockmaking firm and became clockmaker to King George III and his son, the Prince Regent, later King George IV. He was Master of the Clockmakers' Company five times.
    The design of the present clock, with its integral plinth, is a distinctly Vulliamy model. Several examples have appeared at auction, including No. 1451, sold anonymously Christie's London, 12 December, 2001, lot 157 (£5,875).
    The numbering system used on Vulliamy clocks was introduced by Benjamin Vulliamy in 1788 and was continued by his son Benjamin Lewis. The Vulliamy firm kept ledgers which give details of each clock produced, including the time taken to make the individual elements, the outside suppliers and the purchasers. Although many of the records have been lost, the ledgers which relate for the years 1797 to 1806 and 1820 to 1831 have survived and are in the possession of the British Horological Institute. In researching the system ('Vulliamy Clock Numbering'), Antiquarian Horology, Vol.XXI, No.5, Autumn 1994, pp.427-429), Roger Smith has used the surviving data to compile a graph from which unrecorded clocks can be fairly accurately dated. Using this information, the present clock No. 1452 can be approximately dated to 1840
    See also lot 94.

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