Robert Breakinrigg of Wyndmill, Edinburgh. Scotland
Scottish tall case clocks that share this early case form exhibited by this example do not show up very often for sale in this country. This example exhibits a number of early features or design elements throughout the case presentation. Some of which include a double stepped base molding that rests flat to the floor, a long tomb stone shaped waist door with viewing aperture enabling one to see the motion of the brass faced pendulum bob, turned bonnet columns that are applied to the bonnet door, heavy or large waist and cornice moldings and a flat top bonnet and the use of figured burl walnut wood in the case construction. The dial also shares a number of early features. It is constructed in brass. The center section of which is matted and the winding arbors are decorated with ring turnings. The applied chapter ring and seconds ring have been silvered. The larger ring is decorated in an early manner having the interior edge marked with minutes and a Fluer-de-lis design is engraved in between the hours. This dial is also fitted with decorative applied brass urn spandrels.
The narrow proportions of the case are excellent. The case is veneered in figured burled walnut. The richness in the grain pattern and the darkness found in the color of the moldings contrasts very nicely.
The movement is constructed in brass and is designed to run eight-days on a full wind. It is good quality. It features a rack and snail striking system that strikes the hour on a cast iron bell mounted above the movement. It is a two train design and is powered by two brass covered weights.
The dial features a moon phase or lunar calendar mechanism in the arch. This wheel also displays the hour of high tide in Edinburgh on the inner ring.
This clock was made circa 1760 and stands 7 feet 6.5 inches tall.
Robert Breakinrigg is listed in G. H. Ballie’s, "Clockmakers and Watchmakers of the World Volume 1," as working in 1757 through 1770. He is listed as a "Able Maker." It is also reported that he made a clock with very early duplex escapement. Robert is also listed in John Smith's "A Handbook and Directory of Old Scottish Clockmakers from 1390 to 1850 A.D." He lists him as being business at the north side of the Grassmarket. He was prosecuted as an unfreeman. This offense was punishable by imprisonment in the tollbooth if the Incorporation chose to exercise their powers. Robert refused to join and remained outside their jurisdiction his whole life.
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