Willm ALLAM, London. No 1030


Fine centre-seconds cylinder movement, ex Clockmakers' Company, circa 1760.

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Fullplate fusee movement with particularly nicely engraved and chased cock featuring a crowned head, the beautifully finished centre-seconds work under a deeper than normal brass-edge with balance-brake between the plates originally acting on the cylinder, the cap stamped L x R, as often seen in the best London work of the period. Cylinder (deadbeat) escapement) with 13-tooth brass escape. Lovely original 'Roman & Arabic' enamel dial, original blued-steel beetle & poker hands with a polished steel centre-seconds hand of the type I associate with the firm of Vulliamy. 35 mm diameter, 15.5 mm deep not including centre arbor.

William Allam, watch and clockmaker, member of the Clockmakers' Company 1745-83, with examples of his work in many museums, and probably working in Fleet Street at this period.

NB: Centre-seconds watches, as introduced by George Graham together with his new escapement circa 1726, are the least common of cylinder watches and were no doubt an expensive purchase. Surviving examples are rare. Once in the Nelthropp collection and gifted to the Clockmakers' Co, this movement was sold by the Company at Sothebys in December 1981, lot 46 - see also the Catalogue of the Collection by Clutton & Daniels, item 323.

Dial with faint hair crack, but no chips at all around the cap bolt pin (v rare) and the original Graham-type banking changed as is the action of the balance-brake - it now operates on the arbor of the 4th wheel. Otherwise a beautiful movement and a fine example of best quality London work, and with a provenance to one of the most interesting 19th century collectors. Not cleaned by me but will tick when wound.