SHEPHERD & Son 'Makers to the Royal Navy' London. No 1717


Good 2-day box chronometer by this interesting maker, circa 1865.

More details

Standard pattern of English brass-bound 3-piece pale rosewood box with the usual brass drop handles and furniture, and with vacant ivory plaque in the middle section. The gimbals also of the usual pattern, but the bowl having a percussion cap-type cover for the winding square, a pattern favoured by Arnold & Dent and few others in general - see pic. Fullplate fusee movement again of standard form, retaining most of the original spotting, but now beginning to show some of the usual signs of handling. Original Eanshaw type spring-detent escapement with the classic English single-piece detent with foot and gold passing-spring held by a screw. Compensation balance with 10-turn helical blued-steel balance-spring with Arnold's terminal curves that looks not to have been changed - most have been. Silvered dial with state-of-wind at 12, gold hands. Box 17.5 cms.

Charles Shepherd, 53 Leadenhall Street, known for his chronometers and galvano-electric clocks, his most famous apparatus being that which once operated the Time Ball at the Old Royal Observatory, Greenwich. He did this in 1851 and the mechanism, and the clocks, are on view to visitors at the National Maritime Museum. He also entered chronometers in various Greenwich Trials, No 1723 being placed 47th in 1866 and 26th in 1870.

A good original example of the type of 2-day chronometer that enabled navigators around the world to find safe harbour, and which typifies best English work of the period. Being working timepieces, often with many years of service, most that survive show changes to the mechanism and the boxes. Apart from the box being re-polished at some point, this example has not undergone such changes. Freshly cleaned and guaranteed, a fine example.