Smith and Sons, Clerkenwell, London.
A very rare late 19th century ship’s clock by Smith and Sons that strikes true nautical time incorporating the unique striking sequences for the ‘dog watches’ on two massive bells.
The brass cylindrical case has a fretted aperture on the bottom, a polished brass front and a hinged and latched bezel with a beveled glass and silvered reflecting ring.
The engraved silvered dial has Roman numerals for the hours, gilt spade hands and is signed ‘Smith & Sons, Clerkenwell, London’.
The massive double-fusee eight-day time and nautical striking movement has maintaining power, massive pillars, a variation of rack striking designed to incorporate the unusual sequences for the ‘dog watches’ and strikes combinations of two hammers on two massive 5 in. bells. The high quality recessed English lever platform is fitted spanning the top plates and has a smooth balance with the fast/slow out the dial.
‘Dog watches’ were initiated to alter the sequence of watches used on board ships so the same people would not be working the same watches. Although ship striking clocks are relatively common, clocks identifying the dog watches are very rare.
The back of the dial has an abundance of repairer’s scribe marks beginning in 1887. The name ‘Parsons’ is inscribed in several places and might be a hint to the provenance.
This piece would most likely have been commissioned by someone of means.
Photographed on a purpose made stand.
For another bulkhead clock striking the dog watches see: Christies, Maritime sale, 5/24/91, South Kensington, Lot 223.
9.5 in diameter
8 in. depth
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