A very fine and unique mid 19th century Exhibition Quality engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS 3
Lot 88
A very fine and unique mid 19th century Exhibition Quality engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS 3
Sold for £115,250 (US$ 184,729) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very fine and unique mid 19th century Exhibition Quality engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS  3 A fine and unique mid 19th century engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement and of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS  3 A fine and unique mid 19th century engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement and of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS  3 A fine and unique mid 19th century engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement and of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS  3
A very fine and unique mid 19th century Exhibition Quality engraved gilt brass English giant carriage timepiece with chronometer escapement of one month duration, with original travelling case and tipsy key
Charles Frodsham, 84 Strand, London, AD 1/FMSS
The case with substantial hinged handle folding flush with the stepped top surrounding the heavy bevelled glass top plate, the side panels and rear door decorated with an engraved chequered pattern on a heavy moulded base set with four independently sprung button feet, the tall rectangular dial with an angled and engraved sight ring enclosing a gilt mask of scrolling foliage, the silvered circular dial with an eccentrically placed Roman dial intersected by the subsidiary seconds dial, within an Arabic minute ring, the lower portion of the dial displaying the power reserve subsidiary dial scaled from 0 to 35 in units of 5 and with the the 31 additionally marked alongside the instruction 'WIND 1ST OF THE MONTH', set between the bold signature CHARLES FRODSHAM, 84 Strand, LONDON, AD 1/FMSS, both subsidiaries with blued steel hands, the hour and minute hands of gold; the movement comprising of two shaped plates, the front plate circular, the backplate with spotted decoration and of a three-quarter form united by three heavy brass pillars, with substantial barrel and chain fusee to an Earnshaw type spring detent escapement mounted on a subplate, with freesprung helical blued steel spring to a cut and compensated bimetallic balance with keystone shaped weights, the whole running for one month on a single winding.
Sold with the original mahogany travelling case, of fine construction, with recessed lacquered brass screws securing the interior felt-lined runners (the worn leather strap handle probably an old addition), the clock set on a pull-out felt-lined slide revealing the hidden original tipsy key To the top of the raised handle 29.5cms (11 and 5/8ths of an inch) high. With the handle down, to the top of the glass panel 25.5cms (10ins) high. To the top of the mahogany travelling case 30cms (12ins) high. (3)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    This clock has been in a private collection since the mid 1970s. Just before that, it was sold at Sotheby's London, on 20th May 1974 for £2500. The clock runs well, but would benefit from an overhaul as it was last serviced in 1983, at Thomas Mercers. It was then recorded as having a rate of just minus half a second per day, a copy of their rating certificate is included with the lot.

    Literature:
    Mercer: 'The Frodshams. The Story of a family of Chronometer Makers', AHS publications, 1981, p 142.

    It is accepted that Frodsham introduced the ADFmsz code in 1850, using the letters of his name F-R-O-D-S-H-A-M, to represent the numbers 1-8, with a zero represented by the letter Z. The code was not used as a dating device (except probably in the current case - see below), but instead as a mark of the highest quality control, each piece bears a unique number.

    That this clock does not follow the standard coding of ADFmsz accompanied by a number is of huge interest. Mercer notes that the current clock is the only known example of the firm deviating from this standard practise. It must have been a deliberate act in order to signify a particular order or event. If we follow Frodsham's original number sequence, the mark on this clock of 'F-M-S-S' gives us the date 1-8-5-5. This was a memorable year for Frodsham the company and Frodsham the man. As far as the Company were concerned, Frodshams exhibited at the Paris Exhibition in 1855 and were awarded a Gold Medal of Honour. Perhaps this clock was part of their display? The red velvet lining the inside of the viewing glass is a feature that one would not normally expect on a high precision timekeeper, but it might impress a judging panel at the Exhibition.

    On a personal level, 1855 was also the year in which Charles Frodsham became Master of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers for the first time, and it is not too fanciful to think that it may have been created to commemorate his year in office.
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. James Stratton
    Specialist - Clocks
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 207 468 8364
    FaxFax: +44 207 468 8370
  2. Charles Crisford
    Specialist - Clocks
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8371
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8370
Similar Items