Bonhams : A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'. Now housed in a later 19th century case
A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'.  Now housed in a later 19th century case

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Lot 118TP
A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator
The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'. Now housed in a later 19th century case

Sold for £ 27,500 (US$ 34,769) inc. premium

Fine Clocks

12 Dec 2018, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator
The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'. Now housed in a later 19th century case
The arched mahogany case inlaid with boxwood and ebony-strung panels of satinwood, the tapering trunk with a panelled door crossbanded in tulipwood, on a stepped apron, the dial within a moulded mahogany bezel in a locking door set with an applied silvered plaque engraved 'MEAN TIME' within a running border. The backboard of the case has been cut for a rear door, although this has now been pasted over. Likewise, opening the hood door reveals another door - possibly orginally an inspection panel?


The 7.75 inch circular dial made in two pieces of very substantial silvered brass, partially skeletonised, with an outer Arabic seconds ring with bold Observatory mark indexes every five seconds enclosing the recessed centre with two applied chapter rings, the upper ring marked in Arabic fives to measure the minutes, the lower ring marked in Roman hours, each with a matching shaped blued steel hand and signed for two makers:

'JOHN SMEATON Invenit.' in the minutes and 'JOHN HARTLEY Fecit, York 1781' in the hours.

Further signed across the centre:
'Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840'

the weight driven eight-day movement with arched plates measuring 6ins x 5.25ins and united by four distinctive double-baluster pillars in the manner of Henry Hindley of York, the backplate signed and dated again 'J.Smeaton Invt. John Hartley YORK Fecit 1781', and with kidney-shaped aperture revealing the train between the plates, with Harrison's maintaining power to the slim barrel, the gut feeding on to a moving pulley on an arbor below, each wheel finished to an extremely high level and of six slightly tapering crossings, the centrally mounted deadbeat brass 'scapewheel mounted entirely within an open lozenge-shaped steel frame set with an entry and exit pallet, suspended from a platform mounted between the plates and with intricate micrometer adjustment via four knurled nuts, the pendulum with substantial white metal rod suspended directly below the 'scape wheel frame and terminating in a glass jar of mercury with tapered pointer reading against a silvered beat scale secured to the backboard of the case, the stirrup cap silvered and edged with an engraved scale marked in tens from 0 to 180, signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit et Fecit, London' 1.59 (5ft 3ins) high.

Footnotes

  • Three men have had their hand in the design and production of this outstanding regulator:

    John Smeaton 1724-1792 was born near Leeds in Yorkshire, he was a mechanically gifted young man and when just 17 met the exceptional local clock maker Henry Hindley (1701-1771), they became lifelong friends. In 1748 he moved to London as a maker of philosophical instruments. He investigated water and wind power and published on this and other subjects. In March 1753 he was Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. It was during this decade that he turned to engineering consultancy, including his best-known project the third Eddystone lighthouse, erected on a rock in the channel 14 miles out of Plymouth. Smeaton first described himself as a 'Civil Engineer' in 1768 and three years later was a founder member of the Society of Civil Engineers and by many is regarded as their Father. Clocks must have been an intrinsic part of his life, his friend Hindley took on his cousin, the young clockmaker John Holmes (1727-1797) as an apprentice. John Hartley was clearly influenced by the work of Henry Hindley.

    James Gowland worked at London Wall, London from 1832 to circa 1890 and specialised in precision work, namely chronometers and regulators. A highly experimental fusee driven regulator was sold in these rooms 15 December 2004. It was signed and dated to 1849 and carried the following legend engraved upon the pendulum beatscale:

    "JAMES GOWLAND 52 LONDON WALL. Patentee &c. Invt. et Fecit. FREE PENDULUM REGULATOR, CHALLENGING THE WORLD FOR THE UNEQUALLED ACCURACY OF ITS RATE."

    His 1849 regulator used an inverted pair of pallets set just below the movement centre, set into a highly adjustable polished steel frame, much like the current lot.
Contacts
A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'.  Now housed in a later 19th century case
A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'.  Now housed in a later 19th century case
A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'.  Now housed in a later 19th century case
A unique, experimental miniature floorstanding eight day centre seconds regulator The movement signed and dated J. Smeaton Invent./John Hartley YORK Fect. 1781. And further signed "Pendulous Escapement & Pendulum invented and made by JAMES GOWLAND, London, 1840." The pendulum also signed 'Jas. Gowland Invenit & Fecit, London'.  Now housed in a later 19th century case
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