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A Victorian gilt-metal giant carriage clock with twin up-and-down dials
A Victorian gilt-metal giant carriage clock with twin up-and-down dials


A Victorian gilt-metal giant carriage clock with twin up-and-down dials Charles Frodsham, London. No. 986 The white enamel Roman chapter disc signed Charles Frodsham Clock Maker to the Queen 84 Strand London 986 with blued fleur de lys hands, twin white enamel up-and-down dials below all within a gilt mask intricately engraved with scrolling foliage on a hatched ground, the movement with thick brass plates secured by five double-screwed conical shaped pillars, twin fusees with maintaining power, the large gilt escapement platform entirely engraved with foliage with large diameter cut bimetallic compensated balance to the lever escapement, hour and half-hour strike on a circular section gong with blued steel arrow-head strike/silent lever, the backplate engraved Arnold's Charles Frodsham Clock Maker to the Queen 84, Strand London. 986, the early Gorge-style case with heavy bevelled glasses; with the original mahogany travelling box 8in. (21cm.) high
Christie's, London, 30 June 1993, lot 212, The property of a private Collector

Lot Essay

Made about 1850 the present clock is an early example of Charles Frodsham's best work.
His cases arguably never really settled into a regular 'house' style unlike Dent or McCabe who's carriage clocks are very often instantly recognisable. For this clock Frodsham had a French case especially made in the early gorge style; its superb quality is reminiscent of carriage clocks being made by Le Roy & Fils when they were trading at Gallerie Montpensier, Paris.
The vast majority of English carriage clocks have silvered or enamel dials, occasionally with seconds indication. Frodsham took this a step further and made a very small number of top quality carriage clocks with up-and-down dials that indicated how many days the clock had left to run. Since about 1835 up-and-down dials had been incorporated in marine chronometers. Frodsham was one of, if not the most prolific chronometer maker in the Victorian era and it seems quite possible that one of his wealthier chronometer clients might have asked that the useful up-and-down dial on his chronometers be incorporated into a carriage clock. They would have been an extremely expensive refinement and as a result only a very small number were ever made. Almost all of them had just the one up-and down dial for the going train; only his very best examples had the ultimate luxury of twin up-and-down indicators for the time and strike trains. Strangely no other carriage clock makers felt obliged to copy Frodsham so that virtually all carriage clocks with up-and-down dials are exclusive to the Frodsham workshops


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