Francis Perigal, Royal Exchange, London, Height 505 mm, circa 1780
A splendid George III red tortoiseshell veneer pendulum clock with moon phase, half hour/hour strike and carillon with four different tunes activating on the hour, produced for the Ottoman Market Case: oak/tortoiseshell/firegilt ormolu mountings/glass. Dial: enamel/silver/champlevé enamel. Movm.: rectangular brass full plate movement, 3 barrels, 3 x gut/fusee, 1 hammer/1 bell for half hour/hour strike, rack strike, verge escapement, short pendulum. Muscial movement: Released automatically on the hour by the clock followed by the hour strike, pin barrel, 12 hammers / 8 bells.
The lightly curved oak body with red tortoise shell veneer has a rounded top and sits on four bronze bun feet in the form of paws; the paws merge into beautiful acanthus fittings on each corner. The edges and the sides (which are open-work for better sound) have been decorated with rococo-style strips and grilles. The glazed doors on front and back are decorated with rocaille fittings. The removable pediment is domed and elaborately ornamented and has a gilt pine cone with crescent on its top. The dial sits against an intricately finished background with a plate with floral engraving and translucent cobalt blue and green Champlevé flowers and leaves. The white enamel dial in the lower part shows Ottoman hours and minutes and is signed "Francis Perigal, Royal Exchange, London"; the hands are gilt and lavishly ornamented. The striking mechanism is released and stopped with a small dial and hand in the upper half ("Chime" - "Not Chime"). A second auxiliary dial selects one of four tunes: "Vschae Deuir" - "Samahe" - "Sabac Hafif" - "Beni Saikit". The rectangular full plate movement is allover lavishly engraved with scrolls and flowers. The carillon has eight bells and 12 hammers; the release mechanism sits on the front plate and strikes at the hour. The mechanism operates an adjustable cam disk which releases the hour strike after the tune with an under-dial work.
These magnificent, King George III period table clocks were created by London’s finest clockmakers such as Markwick Markham, William Rich, George Prior and of course, Francis Perigal. A particularly interesting feature of this clock is the moon phase with a revolving sphere - we know of no other example boasting this complication.
This clock is indeed a lucky stroke for a dedicated collector, as it is still in completely original and unrestored condition. The firegilt fittings have never been polished or cleaned, the tortoise shell covering is almost whole and has never been polished up either. The movement is slightly oxidised and lubrication has dried out, but the mechanism is in sound technical condition. We would regard this timepiece as of museum quality.
Francis Perigal was active from about 1770 to the time of his death in 1794. He was admitted as honorary freeman the Clockmaker's Company in 1781. A maker of fine and interesting watches an was "Watchmaker to the King" in 1784. Little is known of Perigal, but the few surviving watches bearing his name are of considerable mechanical interest and of fine quality. He was succeeded in the business by his son, also Francis, and there were several other makers in the family.
Estimate 40,000 - 60,000 €
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