Samuel Watson, London, a fine ebony basket top timepiece circa 1750


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Object Description

A fine small spring driven table clock by this important clockmaker.

The 6 inch square brass dial is mounted with a silvered chapter ring and wing and cherub spandrels to the four corners. The centre is finely matted and the hands are well pierced and faceted.

The elegant oak case, veneered with ebony, stands only 11 ½ inches high and is in the classic style of the early period of English clockmaking. It is surmounted by a pierced basket top and an elaborate carrying handle. To each side of the case there are well cast brass sound frets.

The fully restored single fusee movement with 5 finned pillars and verge escapement runs for 8 days and has a pear shaped pendulum bob. There is a silent pull quarter repeat work on two bells. The backplate is beautifully engraved with symmetrical foliate scrolls and signed Samuel Watson to a central shaped cartouche beneath an elaborate pierced and engraved backcock apron.

Object Literature

Samuel Watson was an important clockmaker and mathematician who is recorded in Loomes’ The Early Clockmakers of Great Britain. According to Loomes, Samuel Watson initially worked in Coventry around 1680 where he was Sheriff in 1686 before moving to London around 1691. He was made a Free Brother of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1692. In 1682 Watson made an astronomical clock for Charles II followed by another clock which was not completed until after the King’s death. In 1690 this same clock was sold to Queen Mary and is now in Windsor Castle, though in a later case. Watson also made two astronomical clocks for Sir Isaac Newton and invented five minute repeating watches.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

10.00 - 18.00
10.00 - 18.00
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10.00 - 18.00
10.00 - 18.00
11.00 - 17.00

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 7938 1100
+44 (0)7768 096 869