Roberts (p.178) notes that regulators such as this were probably the most attractive month going examples Dent produced and were designed to go into either country estates or large country houses to set all the other timekeepers. An almost identical oak regulator and only one serial number away from the present lot, No. 674, was supplied to the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 5 July 2006, lot 92 (£43,200).
An interesting feature, thought to be unique to Dent, is the finely engraved height scale screwed to the backboard. This allows the height of the fine regulation weight tray to be recorded. Other Dent features are the rear-mounted club-toothed 'scape wheel and the Continental style crutch with fine beat adjustment.
Edward John Dent (1790-1853) was already becoming well known as a watch and clockmaker by the age of 24, supplying a regulator to the Admiralty and at least one or two pocket chronometers for the Colonial Office African Expedition. Between 1815-1829 he worked for many of the finest chronometer makers of the day and was also employed by the Greenwich Observatory to examine and repair chronometers. In 1830 Dent went into partnership with John Roger Arnold at 84 Strand. In 1840 he set up on his own at 64 Strand and also at 28 and 33 Cockspur Street. He was granted the Royal Warrant as Chronometer Maker to the Queen in 1841. In 1852 Dent won the commission to make the great clock for the Houses of Parliament at Westminster but died in 1853 before it was completed.