Lot No. 46* (92nd Auction)
George Margetts, London, Invt. et Fecit, No. 8, circa 1785

A remarkable, very rare ship's chronometer with 8 days power reserve
Case: mahogany, hinged handles at side, brass gimbals and bowl, two-body with glass. Dial: enamel, signed, numbered, radial Roman hours and Arabic minutes, auxiliary seconds, arrow shaped hands. Movm.: brass movement, baluster steel pillars, chain/fusee with maintaining power, previous lateral winding removed, six-arm gear wheels, spring detent escapement according to Thomas Earnshaw, three-arm bimetallic chronometer balance with 3 weights and 6 screws, freesprung blued helical balance spring with terminal curves, chatoned diamond endstone on balance.

George Margetts (1748-1804)
George Margetts was born on June 17, 1748 in Woodstock in Oxfordshire. On October 11, 1779 he was freed from the Clockmakers' Company and able to have his own business at 21 King Street in Cheapside. He later moved to no. 3 Cheapside around the turn of the century. He specialised in fine astronomical watches, however, he seemed to have run into financial problems at some point in time because in 1788 the Morning Chronicle reported of his bankruptcy. In 1789 Margetts presented a design for a detached pendulum to the Board of Londitude, but he did not receive the support he had been hoping for. Nevertheless he continued his research on longitude and soon presented a longitude table to the Board. His petition for the pendulum still exists and gives us some insight into Margetts’ work. He fitted the gridiron pendulum in a way that was intended to give the astronomer the possibility to adjust the expansion or contraction of the pendulum; this was meant to counteract the effects of heat, cold, moisture or atmospheric pressure. The tables Margetts presented to the Board of Longitude in August 1789 were published in the same year and came with "a logarithmic rotula invented by the author for making decimal and sexagesimal proportions.....which will greatly facilitate the various calculations necessary to be made in every branch of Mathematics and of Astronomy and Navigation". However, even though Margetts seemed to have been a very active maker, he did not really prosper; in 1789 he also lost money in the India trade. On October 7, 1799, Margetts was elected to the livery of the Clockmakers'Company. He died on December 27, 1804.
Bibliography: Antiquarian Horology, vol. 7, pp. 304-316, an article by A.J. Turner about the life and work of Margetts with extensive bibliography.
Estimate  12,000 - 16,000 €

Price Realised  18,000 €
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