Wall-mounted Bracket Clock with lock, for the Ottoman market, circa 1790.
Movement with two fusees and gutline transmission, anchor recoil escapement, spring suspended pendulum with adjustment under the bob. Hourly rack strike on a bronze bell above. Finely engraved rear plate bearing the signature or George Prior, London. Autonomy 8 days.
Similarly signed enamel dial with Ottoman numerals for the five-minute markers and the hours. Strike suppressor lever (STRIKE – SILENT) above the numeral 60. Finely cut and gilt brass hands.
Oak case with ebonized peartree veneer with varnished or gilt applied bronze lining and accessories. Side panels finely cut in the Oriental fashion, with silk back lining, allowing for the sound to go through while keeping the dust outside. Stylized lying crescent above the dial to underline the Easterly character.
A very ingenious and unusual assembly system makes the whole assembly theft-proof; the clock is assembled with its bracket through two hand-screws hidden inside the bracket. The bracket cover also locks in place with a key, and the whole does not allow access to the wall screws, unless separated first. It is also to be noted that the two upper side panels can be easily removed for a technical access.
Overall Height 72 cm (28 ¼”), W. 32 cm (12 ½”), D. 20 cm (8”)
George Prior is recorded as active in Prescott St, London between 1765 and 1810. He was rewarded with the Silver Medal assorted with 25 guineas by the Arts Society for the invention of a new clock escapement, and rewarded again with 20 guineas for making a remontoire, which he patented in 1818. He was mostly known for supplying watches and clocks to the Ottoman market.
Richard Barder, The Georgian Bracket Clock 1714-1830, 1993; G.H. Baillie, Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World, 1925; F.J.Britten, Old Clocks and Watches & Their Makers, 1904.