This week we’ve finish the very rare Georgian bracket clock that we illustrated a few weeks ago. This well proportioned George II inverted bell top mahogany bracket clock by the 18th century maker Nathaniel Style. This clock has received the most careful of restorations to retain its original shellac finish. Which is in an amazing original condition and its original winding key.
It is not very often that a completely original base model clock appears in such amazing condition. When acquired by us, this clock was covered in many layers of grime and dust. Having spent at least 100 years in a dry attic of a large house. I have included a couple of photographs of the case being carefully cleaned to reveal its totally original finish. I have done this to demonstrate that we have not re-polished this clock in any way.
The very well made case is veneered in a good quality mahogany. With it being a base model it is devoid of any brass frills and fussiness and has a simple wooden fret to the two top corners of the front door and a substantial brass handle to the top. The rear door has been made far more substantially than is required and still has the case makers chisel marks that have been let in to allow the pendulum the swing freely. I cannot express how lovely this clock is and has to be seen to be believed.
The timepiece movement has a crown wheel (verge) escapement and has its original suspension holding the “free” pendulum. This type of escapement was a transition between the rigid knife edge type crown wheel escapement where the pendulum is directly connected to the pallet arbour and the anchor escapement with its separately suspended pendulum and reduced pendulum arc. This escapement has a large pendulum arc. This is demonstrated by the mock pendulum during operation but the maker is clearly trying to experiment with the new technological developments that were coming into horology. The movement has been totally overhauled by me. However it is in as original a condition as I can get it without removing any of its past history.
It is very rare that these timepiece clocks survived beyond the 19th century because they were in essence a base model without any frill, striking mechanisms or alarm work. They simply told the time. As was the case with “modern” 1950s mantle clocks of today. These basic clocks were mistreated and thrown away when worn out due to the cost of repairing them.
This clock has somehow managed to be carefully stored away when it finally became surplus to requirements or the cost of repair outweighed the value of the clock and stayed there for many years! The patina and simple elegance of this clock has to be seen to be fully appreciated. I believe it would be a very good addition to any collection or someone with an eye for Georgian style.
Nathaniel Style is recorded as working at Wood Street, Cheapside, London. Becoming free of the Clock makers Company in 1725 and retiring in 1773.
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