A Regency Royal Observatory two-day marine chronometer
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A Regency Royal Observatory two-day marine chronometer


A Regency Royal Observatory two-day marine chronometer
Parkinson & Frodsham, No. 2291. Circa 1815
The silvered dial signed and numbered Parkinson & Frodsham, Change Alley, LONDON 2291, Roman hour numerals within outer chapter with Arabic five minute intermarkers, subsidiary seconds and up-and-down dials, blued steel hands, small size movement (58 mm. diam.) enclosed in brass drum-shaped dust cover, the top plate inscribed Parkinson & Frodsham, 'Change Alley, LONDON, Earnshaw escapement, cut bimetallic balance with segmental heat compensation weights, blued steel helical balance spring with adjusted gallows type stud, spring foot detent with jewelled locking stone, brass bowl, with resilient brass spring to locking arm assembly, three-tier plain mahogany box, rectangular bone ivory plaque to front of centre section inscribed PARKINSON & FRODSHAM. LONDON, and to the bottom section a disc inscribed 2291 and with the Government Mark, brass external drop handles
87 mm. dial diam., 160 mm. sq. box
Special notice
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

This chronometer was entered in the 1840 Annual Chronometer Trial at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. It was placed nineteenth and was among the twenty-eight purchased that year.
In October 1840 it was issued to the Prison Transport Ship Somersetshire for the transportation of convicts to Port Jackson, (Sydney) Australia, and in 1841 to the Maria Somes for the transportation of convicts to the penal settlement at Hobart, Tasmania. It was subsequently transferred to H.M. Survey Ship Plover (re-named from Bentinck, Captain R. Collinson R.N.) which vessel was engaged in the first Chinese War in 1841 on the conclusion of which it was occupied surveying the Chinese coast from Chusan to Hong Kong, including the island of Formosa (Taiwan).

In 1852 it was issued to the fleet of H.M. Survey Ships comprising North Star (Commander W.J.S. Pullen R.N.), Intrepid (Commander F.L. McClintock R.N.) and Pioneer (Lieutenant Sherard Osborn R.N.) who formed one of the twenty-one separate expeditions, eleven public and ten private, which between 1848 and 1865 sought unsuccessfully to find Captain Sir John Franklin K.C.H. F.R.S. D.C.L. who was lost in the attempt of Erabus and Tenor to fnd the North West Passage. He was never found. The expedition returned in 1852 and No. 2291 was returned to Parkinson & Frodshams with whom it remained until 1855 whereafter it was issued to the wood paddle sloop H.M.S. Salamander. It continued in the Naval Service until October 1869 when it was exchanged for James McCabe No. 521.

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