A superb Georgian lacquered quarter striking bracket clock, signed on enamel dial, Eardley Norton and signed on the backplate Eardley Norton London No 2126. The case with raised gilt Chinoiserie decoration on a black ground, with handle to the inverted bell top, caryatid female torsos at each corner and surmounted by the figure of Mercury. The backplate profusely engraved with scrolling and engraved Eardley Norton London no. 2126. The gilt breakarch with two subsidiary enamel chapter discs for pendulum regulation and strike or silent. The very large movement with triple chain fusees, a spring suspended pendulum fixed to a rise and fall block, striking on the quarter on ten bells via ten hammers and striking on the hour on a further bell
London, date circa 1775
Height 75 cm.
Eighteenth century London boasted a number of exceedingly fine clockmakers, of which Eardley Norton was one. He received his freedom from the Clockmakers Company in 1762 and spent most of his career from 1770 until1794 established at St.John Street. He made a number of watches for the export market but is best known for making complex timepieces, sometimes with musical and astronomical movements. The most notable is his four dial astronomical clock, which he made to stand in the library of Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace, London). In 1771 he took out a patent for a new type of striking-mechanism for clocks and watches. Examples of his work can be found among same of the world's finest collections including a bracket clock in the Virginia Museum, a very small cartel clock in the National Museum of Stockholm, a marine chronometer in the Ilbert Collection, London and an elaborate automaton clock with organ in the Palace Museum, Pekin.