Edwards & Roberts, Wardour St., London. An exceptional inlaid tiger mahogany tall clock featuring first rate cabinetry and a quarter striking 8-day brass movement.

The Cabinet making firm of Edwards & Roberts were among the best in London. This company was founded in 1845 and by 1854 was trading as ‘Edwards and Roberts’, 21 Wardour Street. This firm was highly respected and manufactured high quality items, as well as good copies of the 18th and 19th century English and French furniture. Their workmanship included pieces with satinwood marquetry that favored the Georgian designs. They were known for restoring adapting older pieces of antique furniture to suit more modern needs.

This is a fine example of a hall clock that was manufactured to the highest standards of the last quarter of the 19th century. The mahogany selected for the construction of this case features a tiger striping pattern in the grain that is seldom seen. The wood retains an older and possibly an original finish that has lightened in color over the years. The traditional architecture is enhanced by superb narrow proportions, excellent height and a fantastic display of Georgian inlay designs. These are artfully exhibited throughout the case form.

This case is elevated off the floor and stands on a bracket base. The base section features an applied molding that frames a center panel. The molding that frames the panel is nicely designed and features reversed corners. The base transitions to the waist with a well formed molding. The waist section is long and narrow. It is fitted with a waist door that is shaped at the top. This door is trimmed along its perimeter with an applied molding. The front corners of the waist are fitted with fluted quarter columns. The lower capitals are nicely turned and well shaped. The upper capitals are carved in a Corinthian form. This design is repeated in the hood columns which flank the arched formed hood door and visually support the arch molding. Above this is a frieze that is framed by a break arch pediment. These moldings are also well formed and are accented with decoratively carved details including the ornately carved floral rosettes. The side of the hood are fitted with panels that are designed to allow the sound of the movement escape the case. These panels are pierced in a fretted pattern and backed in silk. They are also trimmed with applied moldings and the framing is inlaid. The top of the hood is fitted with blocked corners and three capped finial plinths. Each supports a brass ball and spike finial.

This case is wonderfully inlaid. The inlay patterns are complex and cover just about every forward facing surface of the case. Even a number of the sides of this case are decorated with some form of inlay. The finial plinths are inlaid with a triple line pattern. The hood frieze is inlaid with a woman’s face in the center, vines extend out and down towards the urns that are positioned on the corners of this space. The hood door is line inlaid in a pattern that follows the form. Both waist moldings are inlaid in the cove sections of the molding. The waist door is fully decorated with a scrolling Georgian design that centers an urn. This central urn is decorated with a bust of a woman. Additional urns, some reminiscent of chandeliers are also used in the theme here. The waist framing is line inlaid. The central base panel is decorated with a large urn. The base frame and bracket feet are decorated with line inlay.

The arched brass dial measures 14 inches across and is skillfully made. In the arch are the selectors for the Chime / Silent and the Whittington / Westminster tune sequence. The Chime / Silent allows one to turn the chiming of the clock on or off. The other selector gives the operator the choice of two tunes. Whittington requires eight notes so it is played on bells. The Westminster sequence requires eight notes. This is played on four coiled gongs. The silvered time ring features Roman Style hour numerals, Arabic style five minute markers, a closed minute ring, and fleur-de-lis half hour marks. A seconds ring is positioned in the tradition location. The Retailer’s name is engraved on a plaque which is pinned above the hour numeral “VI.” The center field is matted and the pierced blued hands contrast nicely against it. Applied cast brass spandrels frame many of these elements.

The brass constructed movement is weight driven. The four turned pillars are substantial and support the two large damascened decorated brass plates. Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and brass gearing. This movement is fitted with maintaining power. The winding drums are grooved. The escapement is a Dead Beat arrangement. This clock is designed to run eight days on a full wind. It is a three train design striking the hours and quarter hours. The striking is actuated by rack and snail striking system. The operator has the choice of two tunes. The Westminster sequence is played in four large coil gongs. These are mounted to the back of the movement. The Westminster chime sequence was made popular by the installation of the House of Parliament clock in London. This clock is better known as Big Ben. You can also choose to have this clock strike the Whittington tune. This requires eight notes and it played on a nest of eight balls. These are mounted above the movement on a rack. The quarter hour sequence is progressive.

This clock was made circa 1890. It stands 105 inches tall. The approximate foot print of the base is inches 21 wide and 13.75inches deep.

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