BRACKET CLOCK Ben. Willoughby, Bristoll Ca. 1690 England

Bracket clocks


Signed: Ben. Willoughby, Bristoll
Circa 1690

The eight-day, twin-fusee movement has going and striking trains, the going train with verge escapement and the rack striking train indicating the hours on a bell. In addition the movement of this bracket clock has pull-quarter repeat on four bells. The first quarter is struck on one bell, the second on two and the third on three, each time followed by the number of strokes for the hour. The backplate is typically engraved with tulips and scrolling leaves around the maker’s signature: Ben. Willoughby, Bristoll.

The square brass dial with a finely matted centre is mounted with a silvered chapter ring and has winged-cherub spandrels in the corners. The finely pierced blued-steel hands indicate the time on a Roman chapter ring, with half-hour, quarter-hour, Arabic five minute and minute divisions. Above the VI is a date aperture, whilst above the centre there is false-pendulum aperture with a recessed silvered signature plaque: Ben. Willoughby. At the top of the dial above the XII is a strike/silent lever.

The domed, ebonised-pearwood oak case of the bracket clock is surmounted by a single shaped brass carrying handle. There are glazed windows to the sides. The glazed front door has a gilt cast-brass escutcheon, which is balanced by a similar shaped dummy escutcheon on the opposite side. The clock stands on four gilt-brass bun feet.

Duration 8 days

Height 34 cm
Width 26 cm
Depth 16.5 cm

Brian Loomes, Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World, London, 2006, p. 845.

The maker
Benjamin Willoughby was apprenticed to Robert Dingly in 1676, High Cross, Bristol and was a member of the Clockmakers’ Company from 1691 until 1710

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