Dating from the 1850s, this is an excellent original giant carriage clock from one of the top English clockmakers, James McCabe.
James McCabe produced more carriage clocks than any other English maker, all of the finest quality. Yet this case style is one that we have never come across before. Far more usual are the rounded corner bases, and those with canted corners.
The case has its original mercury gilding, still in excellent condition. The glazed back has shuttered apertures for winding and hand-set. The back is released by way of a key-operated lock at the bottom, to give access to escapement regulation and strike/silent on the backplate. This is another feature I have not come across before.
The side, back and top glasses are extremely thick with heavy bevels, the large glazed top set with the repeat button.
The boldly engraved dial has scrolling foliage and is signed James McCabe, Royal Exchange, London, 2928 in a cartouche beneath the recessed Roman chapter ring, which has subsidiary seconds ring in the XII position. Matching delicate blued steel distaff hands.
The eight day movement has twin chain fusees, and a large gilt platform with monometallic balance to the under-slung lever escapement. It rack strikes and trip repeats the hours on a blued steel gong, a superb mellow sound. The backplate is signed JAMES MCCABE, LONDON, 2928
- Height 8 ½ inches (22cms)
- Width: 5 ½ in (14cms)
- Dept: 4 inches (10cms)
The movement is to be overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.
Chapter 20 of Derek Roberts’ book, Carriage and Other Travelling Clocks, discusses and illustrates the work of James McCabe and family.
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