In 1816 James Condliff set up business in 32 Gerrard Street, Liverpool at a time when the Industrial Revolution had ensured that Liverpool was one of the most powerful trading cities in England.
Condliff's reputation was second to none in Liverpool and held in high regard in London where he undoubtedly retailed a good number of his clocks. Like other great clockmakers Condliff maintained a very high standard of clockmaking, his wheel-work invariably had six crossings and the movements were beautifully finished. His reputation was built on his line of skeleton clocks which always had exquisite proportions, very often with innovative escapements.
Condliff's signed regulators are rare and it is thought that the majority were built for retail, the present example has everything one could wish for in a regulator of the period with end-caps, dust covers, mercury pendulum and a well-proportioned case. The design of the trunk door was generally only employed on observatory regulators by such clockmakers as Earnshaw and Arnold. The present clock has a mix of scientific intention with a 'domestic' appearance and it would seem likely that it might have been made for one of the private observatories that were being built at the time.