Quality cylinder movement by this famous London firm, circa 1780, with interesting provenance.
Capped and jewelled fullplate fusee movement with typically engraved and pierced cock and slide-plate, both movement and cap signed and numbered. Cylinder (deadbeat) escapement originally with Graham-type banking, now with plain steel cylinder, and with steel escape of the Swiss form as associated with Ellicott's output. Steel balance, spiral balance-spring. Lovely 'Venetian' enamel dial, enamelled on gold rather than the usual copper plate. 38.5 mm diameter, 15.5 mm deep, not including centre arbor.
John and Edward Ellicott, then running what was the largest and most successful business in London, selling top quality clocks and watches. See the two-part article on the Ellicott firm by David Thompson in Antiquarian Horology, Summer and Autumn issues 1997.
This movement is recorded by Francis Buckley as having belonged to Louis Desoutter in 1930, it appearing in Buckley's privately published monograph on the Ellicott firm. My records also show that it was later part of (item No 1043) the second watch collection formed by Paul Chamberlain, a full list of which was made around November 1943 but never published.
NB: Dials made using the hardest and most beautiful looking enamel, known as Venetian enamel in the English trade, fired at a temperature too high for the usual copper dial-plate, whereas pure gold could cope. Generally of thinner manufacture than normal dials, and thus far more fragile, most that survive are cracked, as here.
Lacking hands, replaced endstone jewel and cylinder, probably from an original that was jewelled, and cap later lightly scratched F and S. Otherwise in good original and complete condition. Cleaned for its previous owner and running well.
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