Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780-1854) was the third generation in his family's clockmaking firm and became clockmaker to King George III and his son, the Prince Regent, later King George IV. He was Master of the Clockmakers' Company five times.
The functional design of this clock suggests it was intended for use in a fine office or boardroom. Vulliamy supplied clocks for many of the private London clubs and offices and also for government buildings. His clocks were always of the highest quality and some were dated and bore the Royal cipher. A Vulliamy timepiece table clock (No. 921) in a similarly utilitarian case to the present clock, but with a chamfered top and front door, was originally made for the Post Office in 1831 and sold anonymously, Bonhams London, 13 December 2005, lot 108 (£9,000). Another Vulliamy clock, No. 712, also a timepiece rather than a quarter-chiming clock but of similar design sold anonymously, Bonhams London, 29 January 2007, lot 712 (£3,100). That clock had brass side frets and a similar inset front panel to the present clock.
The numbering system used on Vulliamy clocks was introduced by Benjamin Vulliamy in 1788 and was continued by his son Benjamin Lewis. The Vulliamy firm kept ledgers which contain details each clock produced, including the time taken to make the individual elements, the outside suppliers and the purchasers. Although many of the records have been lost, the ledgers which relate for the years 1797 to 1806 and 1820 to 1831 have survived and are in the possession of the British Horological Institute. In researching the system ('Vulliamy Clock Numbering'), Antiquarian Horology, Vol.XXI, No.5, Autumn 1994, pp.427-429), Roger Smith has used the surviving data to compile a graph from which unrecorded clocks can be fairly accurately dated. Using this information, the present clock No. 1767 can be approximately dated to 1847.
See also lot 77.