An historic skeleton clock made for, and presented to, William Scoresby in 1833. James Condliff, Liverpool
Lot 55
An historic skeleton clock made for, and presented to, William Scoresby in 1833.
James Condliff, Liverpool
£40,000 - 60,000
US$ 54,000 - 80,000

Fine Clocks

13 Dec 2017, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
An historic skeleton clock made for, and presented to, William Scoresby in 1833. James Condliff, Liverpool
An historic skeleton clock made for, and presented to, William Scoresby in 1833.
James Condliff, Liverpool
The clock was commissioned for Scoresby and so the frame is of a non-standard Condliff pattern - the upper section takes the form of a pair of elaborate scrolled plates united by four knopped pillars, this section is framed by four turned 'bud' type finials atop four Doric columns united at their bases by a deep plinth raised on ball feet, the plinth has an open centre section which carries the two open-ended spring barrels, each united by a cast brass fleur de lys-centred bracket signed to the front 'Jas. Condliff, Liverpool, the front of the plinth carrying the engraved presentation plaque framed by a pair of pierced and engraved flowerheads:

"GULIELMO SCORESBY.
VIRO. PHILOSOPHIA. MORIBUS. PIETATE. INSIGNI.
TEMPORIS. FUGACIS. AESTIMATORI JUSTO
AMICI. LIVERPOOL INCOLENTIS.
MCCCCXXXIII"

William Scorseby.
A man distinguished for his love of learning, character, piety, a valuer of fleeting time, an upright staunch friend. An inhabitant of Liverpool.
1833.

on a curved wooden base under a glass dome, the whole design rising conceived to draw the eye upwards to the uppermost bud finial and the 'heartbeat' of the clock, a large polished steel balance wheel with five chamfered spokes and set with five large blued steel timing screws, the helical balance suspended below and acting on an English-pattern lever escapement with jewelled pallets, both trains with six-spoke greatwheels followed by five-spoke wheelwork and chain fusees, (the going with maintaining power, the strike acting on a deep-toned gong concealed in the wooden base), the chains running in parallel to the barrels below with blued steel springs visible through the skeletonised barrel end caps, the 3.25 inch Roman chapter ring with outer minute band and cast bezel, with blued steel moon hands and a counter-poised centre seconds hand, the open centre displaying the rack and snail and intricate wheelwork behind The frame 30cms (12ins) high. To the top of the glass dome 40.5cms (16ins) high.

Footnotes

  • William Scoresby (1789-1857) was born in Whitby and was an Arctic explorer, scientist and clergyman. His taste for adventure was probably kindled by his father, William Senior, a whaler captain who travelled to the Arctic Circle. Scoresby Junior studied at Edinburgh University, and during his subsequent voyages to the Arctic observed natural phenomena and wrote papers that he presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of London. When returning from Greenland in 1822 and learning of the death of his first wife, he decided to enter the church and was assigned various parishes. He never travelled to the Arctic again, but continued his research in scientific matters, was a Fellow of the Royal Society and Corresponding Member of the Paris Academy of Science and travelled to Australia and America.

    A Moon crater, the area in Victoria, Australia, where he conducted magnetism experiments and the Scoresby Sound fjord in Greenland that he mapped in in 1822 were all named in his honour.






    The letter reads thus:

    "..no present could be more appropriate than an instrument to measure time. They have therefore, united to present you with a skeleton clock, made expressly for you by our best artist in that line, and I am desired to request your acceptance of this tribute of sincere and admiring friends."
Activities
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