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A Victorian Gilt Brass Cheval Strut Clock
A Victorian Gilt Brass Cheval Strut Clock - Horology Style
Ref : 109101
3 500 €
Period :
19th century
Provenance :
Dimensions :
l. 3.94 inch X H. 7.48 inch
Horology  - A Victorian Gilt Brass Cheval Strut Clock
Richard Redding Antiques

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A Victorian Gilt Brass Cheval Strut Clock

An extremely fine Victorian engraved gilt brass cheval strut clock by Thomas Cole of eight day duration, retailed by the London silversmith and jeweller Charles Frederick Hancock, stamped on the inside of the case Thomas Cole and inscribed on the inner side of the back door: C. F. Hancock, a successor of Storr and Mortimer, 39 Bruton Street, London. The oval silvered dial engraved with foliate scrolls and flowerheads with an engine turned centre, with a Roman chapter ring and fine blued steel fleur-de-lis hands. The gilt movement with spring barrel set within shaped plates united by four turned pillars driving a jewelled English lever escapement. The gilt brass case shaped as a cheval mirror, engraved overall with foliage and flowers and surmounted by a looped carrying handle, with the dial bezel hinged between a pair of shaped and decorated uprights on a stepped base containing a mercury thermometer reading against a silvered scale, the base with a hinged central strut, the rear of the case with a sprung catch to secure the top section during transit
London, date circa 1850-55
Height 19 cm, width 10 cm.
Literature: J. B. Hawkins, “Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking”, 1975, p. 117, no. 41, illustrating and describing a very similar Thomas Cole cheval clock, of circa 1853, without the temperature gauge within the base.
Thomas Cole (1800-64) was one of the great Victorian clockmakers, famed for his innovative and highly decorative clock designs as well as his superior craftsmanship. Indeed, Cole’s clocks were renowned for their unique designs, counting among them a series of strut clocks such as this; its design is known as cheval, after the mirror style that was popular at the time.
Born in Somerset, Thomas was the son the clockmaker James Cole. Both he and his elder brother James Ferguson Cole were to make their name in this field but predominantly independently of one another. In 1823 Thomas joined James in partnership at 3 New Bond Street, London as chronometer, watch and clockmakers. A carriage clock dated 1825 signed by both is now in the British Museum. In 1829 they went their separate ways, and little is known of Thomas until 1838 when he was working as a watchmaker in Upper King Street, Bloomsbury. By 1845 he was established in Clerkenwell, describing himself as a ‘designer and maker of ornamental clocks’. He gained great acclaim at the 1851 Great Exhibition, and again at the Paris Universal of 1855, where he was given a distinguished position for true artistic excellence and superior workmanship. 1861 saw Cole’s election to the Royal Society of Arts and admission to the British Horological Institute. The following year he was awarded a medal at the London Exhibition and was highly praised by Charles Frodsham. Most of his clocks were made for and retailed by high-end silversmiths and jewellers, notably as here by Charles Frederick Hancock, as well as Hunt & Roskell, Garrard, Tessier and Asprey’s; they were also sold by other clockmakers including Edward J. Dent.

Richard Redding Antiques