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An early Victorian mahogany observatory regulator with minute strike, circa 1840
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An early Victorian mahogany observatory regulator with minute strike, circa 1840

Details
An early Victorian mahogany observatory regulator with minute strike, circa 1840
The plinth form case with flat top and ripple moulding above a trunk door with recessed panel and twin locks, with baize lining, on plinth with beaded moulding and simple skirt, the 11in. square silvered regulator dial signed DENT, 82 STRAND/LONDON/469, with black painted brass hands and observatory markings to the seconds ring, the eight day movement with six pillars, riveted to the back plate and pinned to the front, Vulliamy-type deadbeat escapement with jewelled pallets and wood-rod pendulum (lacking bob) with calibrated rating nut, suspended from a brass bracket on the backboard, Harrison's maintaining power, with passing minute strike on bell mounted on the inside of the front plate, with repeat signature to the back plate; brass weight -- 73in. (186cm.) high
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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
This lot is subject to Collection and Storage charges

Lot Essay

Observatory regulators with minute strike were often called Journeyman clocks, presumably on account of their portability. The reason for these clocks striking the minutes was explained by the Astronomer Royal Neville Maskelyne in 1761. After viewing the transit of Venus on St. Helena he wrote: I still continued for some time to make my observations in the upper room, as before. For this purpose I fixed up a little clock there which may be called a journeyman or secondary clock having the pendulum swinging seconds which after being well adjusted would keep time very regularly for several hours. It had only a minute and second hand and struck every minute as the second hand came to sixty, which was very convenient for the counting of seconds, more especially in the observations made with the parallactic telescope, it being improper, on account of the instability of the floor, to get up from one's seat or to alter the position of the body considerably even to catch the second, till these observations were completed.
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