A fine and rare mid 19th century English tripod timepiece Thomas Boxell, Brighton, number 830.
Lot 61*
A fine and rare mid 19th century English tripod timepiece
Thomas Boxell, Brighton, number 830.
£ 35,000 - 45,000
US$ 46,000 - 59,000

Fine Clocks

13 Dec 2017, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
A fine and rare mid 19th century English tripod timepiece Thomas Boxell, Brighton, number 830.
A fine and rare mid 19th century English tripod timepiece
Thomas Boxell, Brighton, number 830.
The 6 inch silvered dial with outer minute track enclosing the Roman hours, a subsidiary seconds dial set below XII over a finely engraved pattern of foliage and berries around the shaped signature cartouche 'Thomas Boxell, Brighton', with elegant blued steel hands, set behind glass within a plain brass bezel mounted on a pair of octagonal-section tapering and curved uprights meeting at a framed plumb bob mounted at the apex, their front surfaces engraved with running foliage against a finely cross-hatched ground, the single going barrel movement wound via a square set below the bezel at VI, with a six wheel train, (each wheel of five crossings) set between a pair of plates united by turned pillars, the backplate of shouldered outline and cut with an aperture to allow for viewing of the Brocot-style deadbeat 'scape wheel and pallets, with a pendulum terminating in a 2.25 inch diameter polished spherical bob reading against a silvered beatscale mounted on a sprung brass holdfast, the circular base gilded and engraved with three large panels of foliate scroll engraving and three levelling screws, on an ebonised wooden base and circular brass baseplate. Protected by a tall glass dome. 48cms (19ins) high. Height to the top of the glass dome 53cms (21ins) high.

Footnotes

  • For a discussion of Thomas Cole's tripod clocks see Hawkins, J.B. (1975) Thomas Cole & Victorian Clockmaking. Sydney: Macarthur Press, pp102 - 114. Hawkins estimates that no more than 75 of these clocks were ever made and that many are variations on a theme, ranging from the masterpiece retailed by London & Ryder raised on a glazed ebonised base now housed at Belmont, illustrated on page 107 and described as "one of the finest English 19th century decorative clocks in existence." to the romantic versions with pendulum bobs cast as pots over a fire (p110). The current clock uses his classic spherical bob, the benefits of which were described in the Horological Journal of November 1896, page 35 as "The pendulum bob is made of a spherical form, 1st, for concentrating the weight of matter in the smallest space; 2ndly, for reducing atmospheric resistance; and 3rdly, for preventing the tendency to rotate with the axis of the rod."

    Thomas Boxell of Brighton is recorded by Hawkins as one of the retailers of Cole's work, although at the time of publication, only one example had been found. Boxell established his business as a Watch and Clockmaker at 55 Albion Street, Brighton in 1845 and had another five addresses over the following 40 years or so. Interestingly, the sole other example found by Hawkins was another tripod clock and is illustrated on page 112. Like the current example, it has square-section engraved pillars, a glazed engraved dial with running seconds and is surmounted by a plumb bob in a cupola, it also employs Coles pendulum locking system. It is signed and numbered Boxell, Brighton, 1052 and dated to circa 1864.
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