Parkinson & Frodsham, Change Alley, London, Movement No. 544, 59 mm, 190 g, circa 1822
A heavy pocket chronometer with spring detent escapement and "resilent stud". This device was probably intended to let the hairspring breathe more evenly in the style of the Breguet overcoil. Case: silver, tiered, polished, case maker's punch mark "CL" (Charles Lupton, 6 St. James's Place, Clerkenwell). Dial: enamel, radial Roman hours, auxiliary seconds, signed, gold spade hands. Movm.: full plate movement, frosted, gilt, signed, keywind, chain/fusee, bimetallic chronometer balance with 4 screws and 2 movable trapezoid weights, freesprung blued balance spring with "resilient stud", chatoned diamond endstone on balance.
Parkinson & Frodsham In 1801 William James Frodsham, son of William Frodsham the Younger, and William Parkinson founded the company that was to become famous as Parkinson & Frodsham at 4 Change Alley, Cornhill in London. The two partners decided to specialize in pocket and marine chronometers; the location of their business was perfect for that because the coffee houses in the vicinity such as Garroway’s were frequented by captains, merchants and sales representatives of foreign trading houses who came to make their transactions. Very soon the company did not only supply the British Admiralty with their goods but exported them to the whole of Northern Europe.
In our 75th auction, "Ahrens Collection" we have sold the "sister watch" No. 541, lot no. 264.
It is interesting in this context to hear about the fate of our no. 544’s sister watch: Parkinson & Frodsham no. 543 was in the property of Captain Henry Foster when he was assigned to take the surveying vessel "Chanticleer" to the southern Atlantic Ocean in 1828. Foster was to take magnetic measurements, temperature charts, and conduct pendular tests. In 1831 Foster was already on the journey home when he travelled the Rio Chagres (in the area where the Panama Canal is today) in a small boat. On the trip back to the Chanticleer Foster went overboard and drowned - taking no. 543 with him. The Rio Chagres was dammed up when the Panama Canal was built; today it forms Lago Gatún.
Estimate 4,300 - 5,500 €
Price Realised 4,500 €
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