When it comes to Melton Mowbray I suppose everyone thinks of one thing, yes the town is famous for pork pies. Back in the 18th century the town of Melton in Leicestershire had some very good clockmakers though. Thomas Boyfield being one of those very able watch and clockmakers. The cabinet design is very similar to those cases known manufactured by Deacon of Barton, who’s records were found and are now situated in Leicester Museum. Samuel Deacon being a famous antique clockmaker to come from this area. Clearly alot of information is known about Deacon through finding all his records, I am listing here a clock by Boyfield of Melton and so researchers can see the similarities in case design and the dial design. Clearly the dials were decorated in Birmingham. Unless you knew alot of information about Deacon clocks, you would think the clock I have pictured here is by Deacon himself.
Leicestershire has always been recognised as an important centre for clockmaking in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and I would recommend a visit to Samnuel Deacons preserved clock workshop in Barton Leicestershire. It is a real eye opening experience. Leiecestershire museum also has alot of extra information of the clockmakers from this area, and I would also recommend a trip here. From my knowledge I can not remember many spring driven clocks from the county of Leicestershire, Deacon and other makers really only produced weight driven clocks.
You will notice the typical Leicestershire top to the door that you will see on clocks from this area. It is true that pretty much every area of the country had its own particular case design. Features like this top to the door are distinctive and experts will only need to see this, to tell you where the clock was manufactured. This clock is of a lovely colour oak and with mahogany cross-banding and box wood fan inlays and chequerboard stringing. Quarter columns to the trunk and the typical hood design used on clocks like Deacon sold can also be seen.
Further information on this lovely antique grandfather clock can be seen by clicking here Antique Clock Boyfield Melton .
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John Ellicott , father, son and grandsons were amongst the finest antique clock makers of the 18th century and I am going to dedicate this blog to them. We are lucky to have 2 amazing examples in stock by these great clockmakers. One of them an outstanding GIII mahogany bracket clock signed John Ellicott London. This dates from just before C1760, as in 1760 John Ellicott FRS took into partnership his son Edward who also was a fantastic clockmaker and the way they signed their names then changed. Edward Ellicott also became Master of the Clockmakers Company. Prior to 1760 Ellicott clocks were signed John Ellicott London. From 1760 to 1769 Ellicott clocks were signed just Ellicott, and from 1769 to 1788 this was changed to John Ellicott and Son. From these facts you can see the outstanding grandfather clock also pictured in this blog dates from 1760-1769 as it is signed just Ellicott. I would expect it to date from the start of the partnership between John and his son Edward, probably around 1760. The cabinet is of beautiful burr walnut and wonderfully decorated.
This clock above is by John Ellicott son probably the most famous of all the Ellicott family of clockmakers, John, FRS. John’s father also John came to work in London around C1690, he started his apprentaship and subsequently moved to the Royal Exchange, St. Swithins Alley and set up shop around the beginning of the 18th century. John Senior was a very fine clockmaker, he worked in St Swithins Alley until his death in 1733. His father must of passed considerably knowledge to his son, in 1728 John FRS was seen to be working with his father at these premises. John’s son was reportedly academically brilliant, as well as being very highly skilled with his hands. It is remarked in many text books that there were few men of his equal in this regard. Just after his fathers death in 1733, in 1738 he was elected to the Royal Society, this was an immense achievement. He had some really important and influential sponsors for this position. Ellicott carried out some important work and research in this role, he looked at various things like the effect of two pendulums upon each other and the variability of the length of a pendulum with latitude. It is without doubt though many people who remember Ellicott will remember him for designing what I call the ‘Ellicott Pendulum’, an amazing compensated pendulum. He worked to try and eliminate the disadvantages of the grid iron pendulum Harrison invented. Ellicott pendulums were an amazing feat of engineering, and they worked to very high standards, far exceeding anything else of the day. These pendulums were very complex to make though and therefore expensive and so not many clocks still exist today with one of these pendulums. Ellicott’s work was always to the highest of standards and the bracket clock pictured here is of the finest quality workmanship. Superb verge escapement, delightful engraved backplate and three train quarter striking fusee movement.
The link to this clock on our antique clocks website can be found here, Fantastic Ellicott Mahogany Bracket Clock
In 1760 this famous clockmaker John Ellicott FRS , took his son Edward into the business. They worked together until his fathers death in 1772. Edward ended up being a special clockmaker in his own right. He became the Kings watchmaker and was Master of the Clockmakers Company. Edward died in 1791 and the business continued with Edward’s son, Edward. An entire century of Ellicott’s, a clockmaking dynasty. Clockmaking did run in family’s but none left their mark as great as the achievements of this family. They always strived to better on what had been achieved before. Can I think of a clockmaking family as well regarded, I do not think so. An entire century of the finest antique clocks. The antique grandfather clock pictured below is an example of the partnership set up with John FRS and his son Edward in C 1760, as the dial is signed just Ellicott. The cabinet is the finest decorated cabinet I have ever seen.
The link to this clock on our antique clocks website is here , Outstanding Ellicott Walnut Grandfather Clock
I hope you have loved reading about the clockmaking family Ellicott of London , they were truly great and made some of the finest antique clocks ever built. A clockmaking dynasty that will never be repeated.
For more information please either e.mail me at PendulumClocks@aol.com or follow me on Twitter below.
Daniel R Clements
We have been in the antique clock business for over 40 years and it is true to say enamel dial antique clocks are rare. You can see them occasionally on bracket clocks in the 18th century but it is like finding a needle in a haystack to find a true enamel dial on a grandfather clock. Clearly no doubt if you undertook a search for enamel dial grandfather clock you will find lots of listings where dealers loosely apply the term to a standard white painted dial. These clocks with white painted dials started manufacture in Birmingham with Wilson and Osborne from around C1772. It was true to say the Clockmakers Company in the early days frowned on achievements outside London and so clock makers tried and most times failed to make alternatives. One alternative was a true enamel dial. True enamel dials such as the superb example pictured here was made from a mixture of glass, tin oxide, borax, peat ashes and salt. This complex mix of substances was then melted and turned into moulds to harden. This mixture was then ground to a powder and mixed with water. This enamel was then mixed with lavender oil to make it adhere to the copper dial plate. This mixture was applied to the dial and then the dial was fired at high temperatures in a clay oven. The temperature was carefully monitored and then the dial was cooled very slowly to prevent any cracking. I hope you agree a process that was very time consuming and complex. To get this to work on a large dial it was very hard. That is why in this case you will see the arch is fired separately. I am sure the risks of cracking with a 12 inch piece of square enamel was a large enough risk. The lovely painted work and decoration you will see on this dial is the result of further firings and I believe rose Vermillion being applied. This was one of the hardest colours to apply.
This is an outstanding and very rare clock with a true enamel dial more information can be found on it by clicking here Samuel Toulmin Grandfather Clock . It has been mentioned the maker of these rare enamel dials was the brother of the famous clockmaker James Tregent, he was called Anthony Tregent. For further information please view the book Theelke, Anthony; Faces of Mystery. This is a lovely flame mahogany veneered grandfather clock with strike silent feature to the arch. The movement is of ’8-day’ duration and strikes the hours on a single bell. Superb London quality case and typical high quality movement features.
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I have wrote a few blogs that I hope you enjoyed about antique cabinet restoration, clearly antique cabinet restoration once carried out properly is a once in a lifetime operation as a rule. Antique clock movements meanwhile need to be cleaned and serviced at least every ten years.
All antique clock movements at Pendulum of Mayfair are properly serviced by trained high quality horologists. The movements are completely taken apart, cleaned and any necessary bushing & pallets re-facing carried out. Normally there will also be other repairs to undertake if the movement has not been properly services in the last 20 years.
Many clients believe if the clock is running and has been doing so this is sufficient, but dried out oil tends to mix with dust and other foreign bodies to become a grinding paste. Unless the movement is cleaned every 10 years or so this grinding paste can cause undue wear. This will also mean that when the next service is carried out extra work is required.
It will normally take our horologists a couple of days to complete an overhaul of a grandfather clock mechanism. This only needs to be done every 10-15 years and is therefore a small price to pay to keep your antique clock in full working order and in tip top condition. Please only entrust your antique clock to the finest horologists. We have had our own workshop for over 40 years and all our staff are trained to the highest standards. We undertake work for Embassy’s, major London hotels and for many vip’s. Many clients have shipped their grandfather clock cases and movements back from the States, so this work can be carried out by us. Poor quality restoration and repairs not to the highest standard can effect the value of your antique clock.
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For a blog about antique cabinet repair please go to http://www.pendulumofmayfair.co.uk/blog/index.php/2014/02/antique-clock-repair/
It can be hard to know where to put your money to invest it safely these days. The interest rates offered by banks are very low, and with price inflation growing steadily, your money can even be worth less after saving than before! And the stock exchange goes up and down, as they say, so investing in stocks and shares can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. Property? Well, they say that bricks and mortar maintains its value over time, but there have certainly been a few nervous moments over the last few years!
But if you’re looking for an investment that will give you and your family pleasure as well as holding its value, how about buying an antique clock? There are many different types of antique clocks available, from carriage clocks, through bracket clocks and wall clocks, right up to perhaps the quintessential antique clock, a grandfather clock. No matter how big or small your house, there will be space for an antique clock, and Pendulum of Mayfair will be able to supply one that will suit, from their extensive range.