Derek Roberts, British Skeleton Clocks, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, 1987, pp.99-113, figsa-h & 3/21a,b.
F.B. Royer-Collard, Skeleton Clocks, NAG Press, London, 1969, pp.45-49.
James Condliff first set up in business at 32 Gerard Street, Liverpool, in 1816. The Industrial Revolution had ensured that large numbers of workers were involved in watchmaking in the city and it is against this background that Condliff's business expanded to become one of the most successful in the country, particularly renowned for skeleton clocks and regulators.
Between 1816-1827 Condliff had premises in Gerard Street, Circus Street and Fraser Street. After 1827 he was joined by Joseph Condliff and they continued to work at Fraser Street (probably the workshops) and also in Clare Street. In 1846 a branch of the business opened in Everton under Joseph's name and that year also John Condliff appears, at premises at Mount Vernon. The last Condliff in the business was Thomas who is recorded as working between 1867-1914, whilst the last mention of James dates to 1884, although it is likely that he had retired by 1862.
Derek Roberts divides Condliff's skeleton clocks into three series: first (1825-50); second (1850-c.1870); third (1855-1860). The present clock belongs to the second series and is distinguished by its delicate scroll frame. This model was made with both balance wheel and anchor escapements.
The firm established by the watchmaker Peter Litherland (1756-1804) became Litherland Davies & Co in 1816. The company's name appears on many skeleton clocks but their is no evidence that they made them, as their speciality was watches and chronometers, and all the clocks bearing their plaques are made to a Condliff design. It is possible, however, that they were involved in making the escapements as they made these for the trade.
For a full discussion of James Condliff and Litherland Davies & Co. see Derek Roberts (op.cit.) pp. 98 - 113.