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Congreve Clock with Circular Dial
William Congreve, the son of a British General and more famous
for his invention of the first Rocket in 1795, patented in 1808 a new Principle
for the Measurement of Time using a rolling ball escapement. His original piece
was powered by a Cannon ball although later models were driven by springs.
His resulting clock was far from accurate, however the
mechanism provides a fascinating and hypnotic spectacle for the viewer. The
Sinclair Harding Congreve uniquely has the track mounted on top of the clock. A
ruby ball meanders along the track triggering the mechanism every 15 seconds to
gently reverse the ball. The skeletonised track also makes it easy to clean and
provides a reasonable degree of timekeeping.
The matching dial is made from brass on to which is applied a
cold enamel of the correct colour. The quarter hour indicators are then machined
through the enamel before the dial is finally given a coat of clear enamel. The
clock is powered by a spring through a hand made chain, which drives the
movement through a Fusee to ensure the clock mechanism sees a constant
The movement is 8 days and is wound from the back of the clock
on our model with the elliptical dial or from the front on our model with the
circular dial. At the other end of the train a fly absorbs any shock loads at
each index and prevents the tray indexing mechanism vibrating.
H 20 cm x
W 37 cm x D 20 cm
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