Francis Atkins – London. A quarter striking Bracket Clock. 221014

This magnificent bell top London bracket (or table clock) was made by Francis Atkins circa 1775. It is thought that the bracket clocks made during the Georgian period (1760-1800) are often considered to be among the finest and most costly to manufacture. Surprisingly, they are even more costly to produce than most tall case clocks. These clocks have spring-driven fusee movements. The incorporation of fusees ensures the spring’s power delivery is even over the period of the week. In addition to the fusee, most bracket clocks also featured added complications such as quarter chiming and repeating work.

This elegant mahogany case stands at an impressive 22 inches tall. It features beautifully figured mahogany throughout. The case is decorated with applied castings which include the four ogee bracket feet, brass applicays along the length of the case, carrying handles, corner case spandrels and finials. The French style door is a rare form. The interior has a serpentine shape and inset cast rococo spandrels. This door is flanked with extravagant brass mounts. Shaped viewing windows are located on both sides of the case. Above these are brass carrying handles above. The rear door is fitted with glass so one can see the beautifully engraved back plate of the works. The top of this case features a bell top form. Five cast brass finials are fitted on top of the case.

The brass dial features a complex form. The dial mat and case door share this shaping to compliment this form. The brass dial is decorated with applied chapter rings, applied cast spandrels, and decorative engravings. The time ring features Arabic five minute markers, a closed minute ring and larger Roman style numerals. The center section has been matted. The hands are nicely formed. Two subsidiary rings are positioned above the time dial. On the left is a Strike/Silent feature. On the right is a calendar. Both of these are actuated by turning the steel hands. At the top of the dial is an inset panel that is engraved with the makers’ name. This reads in script, “Francis Atkins / London.”

The works are finely made. Two large brass plates frame the interior gearing. These plates feature five supporting posts. The backplate is profusely and skillfully engraved in floral patterns. The works are designed to run for an eight-day duration. Fusees equalize the power of the three powerful springs. The escapement is a verge and crown and the pendulum is rigidly fixed. This clock features three trains, a time train, strike train and a quarter striking train. The striking is performed on a nest of eight bells. A repeating pull cord is provided for the night time user.

This clock is 22 inches tall to the top of the center finial. It is inches wide and inches deep.

Francis Atkins was born in 1730 and was apprenticed to Joshua Hassel in 1746. He became a member of the Clockmakers Company in 1759, its Master in 1780, and clerk in 1785. He worked at 35 Clements Lane. Following his death in 1808, the company continued producing clocks under the name Atkins & Son (George) from 1795-1811.

Inventory 221014

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