A fine mantel clock in a black marble drum case by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy, a member of a revered clock-making family, dated c.1820.
The deep jet black marble plinth has parcel gilt scrolls on top, and it is raised on a flared marble base. This is a rare case style for Vulliamy having the flared base – more usually, his marble mantel clocks had vertical sides. Having never seen another one like it, we have deconstructed the case to its essential parts, and certainly there is nothing that leaves any doubt in my mind that the constituent marble parts are all original, as the maker intended.
The case is adorned with the classic gilt bronze mounts as seen on various examples; an eagle on top and a mount depicting Hercules and the lion to the plinth.
The 3-inch signed gilt dial has an engine turned centre and Vulliamy’s signature ouroborus bezel. The texture of the gilt serpent surrounding the dial is mirrored in a border around the base of the clock.
This clock has the classic Vulliamy beautifully-engineered highest quality eight day mantel timepiece with a chain fusee timepiece movement and a half dead beat escapement. As expected the timekeeping can be adjusted from the square arbor at the XII position on the dial.
Original finely pierced blued steel heart hands.
Vulliamy number 688 is signed to the back-plate and numbered front-plate, pendulum, rear door, bezel and case mounts.