A fine and very small regulator longcase clock from the early Regency period, made by the eminent makers Spencer and Perkins, London. Dated c.1800.
The elegant, well proportioned case is made from solid mahogany, standing only 6ft 3 inches in height. The shaped trunk door has a glazed aperture, brass-edged on the inner border, to show off the compensated pendulum and brass-bound weight. The case with thick oak backboard is in outstanding original condition with an excellent finish, colour and patination.
The small 10-inch silvered dial has the convential longcase centre hour and minutes hands, but in addition has a rare feature of a centre sweep seconds hand. The dial is well engraved and signed SPENCER AND PERKINS, LONDON.
The 8 day duration 5 pillar movement has a dead beat escapement and the unusual feature of bolt and shutter maintaining power. This is activated by a lever discreeted behind the hood door, the shutter to limit the dust that may get into the movement. The wheel work is very fine. The mercury compensated pendulum mounting block is mounted across the plates.
Height: 6ft 3 inches
Width: 16 3/4 inches
Depth: 9 inches
Spencer and Perkins are listed as working from 1722-1808 from various London addresses – 44 Snow Hill nr. Newgate 1772-1802, 115 Newgate Street 1802-1808. [source: Britten’s Old Clocks & Watches and Their Makers]
It is usual for regulators in this early “Dutton” style of case to be smaller than 6 feet 6 inches, with light movements such as this clock. In this period it was only those regulators made for observatories that had substantial movements. Later, more substantial movements became more commonplace for domestic use as well.