F B ADAMS, St John’s Square, London. No 36655


£ 195.00

Good London finished movement with very rare form of 'dovetail' lever escapement, circa 1825.

More details

18-size Lancashire supplied fullplate fusee movement, finished with cap jewels on balance, lever and escape, the cock foot stamped WN (probably William Naylor) and the cap stamped HN (one of many still to be identified cap makers). Very rare double-roller form of detached lever escapement with large dovetail-shaped jewel necessitating a distinctive lever fork. Gilded balance with poising screws, spiral balance-spring. 44.5 mm diameter, 12 mm deep, not including centre arbor or dial.

Francis Bryant Adams, Free of the Clockmakers' Company in 1802, succeeded by his son, also Francis Bryant, important London watchmakers based at the heart of Clerkenwell, London’s watchmaking centre. F B Adams senior was a supplier to William Bond in Boston at this period, watch No 36646 being sold to Bond in 1824.

WN, almost certainly the stamp of the movement maker William Naylor who supplied some of the best watch and chronometer movements of the period - see Betts, Marine Chronometers at Greenwich...

NB: The 'dovetail' lever escapement is one of the least known and least recorded detached escapements, although it first appears soon after Edward Massey patents his lever escapement with its various forms of roller. The 'dovetail', Savage 2-pin, single-roller and other variants were almost certainly designed to avoid infringing Massey's patent, but just which escapement maker/s were responsible is yet to be discovered. The finish and action of all the few examples handled by me is very good indeed, as it is in this movement which is of the quality one normally sees fifty years later.

Lacking brass-edge, dial and hands as well as the endstone from the balance. Otherwise complete and in good original condition. Balance swinging freely and even tries to tick when pressure is applied to the train, despite the lack of an endstone. Sold as not working, but well worth restoration due to its lovely escapement.