Globe Empire Clock – Richard’s Chronosphere


A terrestrial clockwork globe dating from c.1906.

The lacquered paper globe is in excellent condition. There are only very minor scratches or scuffs, no staining or discolouration – the colours has mellowed evenly with age. An oval label is signed PATENT 19460, THE EMPIRE CLOCK, CABLE. Other versions of the same globe clock have SMITH & SONS on this label, others are named RICHARD’S CHRONOSPHERE, referring to the coloured mapping of the colonies.

A polished and lacquered brass stand supports the globe.

The eight-day timepiece clock movement has a lever escapement and is wound, set and adjusted from the base. Stamped on the bottom plate is Made in France and SMITH & SONS LTD. and 372.

Around the equator, a silvered brass ring is engraved with Roman clock numerals, painted black on one hemisphere and red on the other.  The globe rotates over 24 hours and the time is indicated by the brass pointer; Red indicates it is day, black for night. The pointer is currently positioned over London, but it can be adjusted to any time zone.

A small globe representing the Sun can be screwed up and down its arc by hand. From one solstice to the next, it moves 23.5° above or below the equator, giving the Sun’s seasonal position.

Black lines on the sphere show the distances of shipping routes in miles. Cables are marked by red lines. Some currents, such as the Gulf Stream and Antarctic Drift, are indicated by feint geographical contour lines. Six oceans are named.

  • Height of the Chronosphere: 30cms
  • Diameter of sphere: 15.5 cm

Overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

The price includes delivery within the mainland UK. Worldwide delivery can also be arranged. Please contact us for a price.

Overton applied for British Patent no. 19460 on August 31 1906 for this design of clockwork globe.

Thanks to the Royal Museums of Greenwich for information relating to the chronosphere.

Ref: Empire-clock

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