1850s Fusee Mantel Clock, Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy


A fine mantel timepiece of small proportions by Vulliamy, London, numbered 1874.

The ebonised wood waisted case is mounted with newly regilded ormolu mounts with well cast foliate scrolls and flowerheads to each of the four corners.

The signed solid silver 3½-inch dial has an engine-turned centre with original blued steel moon hands.

The single chain fusee movement is also signed and numbered, VULLIAMY 1874 with half deadbeat escapement, to the original numbered pendulum.

Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy was the third generation in his family’s clockmaking firm and became clockmaker to King George III and his son, the Prince Regent, later King George IV. Both his father, Benjamin and his grandfather, Justin also held the Royal Warrant serving as clockmakers to Kings George II and III. He became Free of the Clockmakers Company in 1809 and was Master five times before his death in 1854.

The numbering system used on Vulliamy clocks was introduced by Benjamin Vulliamy in 1788 and was continued by his son Benjamin Lewis. The Vulliamy firm kept ledgers which contain comprehensive details of the process involved in the creation of the clocks, including the time taken to make the individual elements, the outside suppliers and the purchasers. Although many of the records have been lost, the ledgers which relate for the years 1797 to 1806 and 1820 to 1831 have survived and are in the possession of the British Horological Institute. In researching the system (‘Vulliamy Clock Numbering’), Antiquarian Horology, Vol.XXI, No.5, Autumn 1994, pp.427-429), Roger Smith has used the surviving data to compile a graph from which unrecorded clocks can be fairly accurately dated. Using this information the present clock No. 1897 would appear to be one of the last clocks made by the Vulliamy family, dating from around 1850.

This case style was used several times by Benjamin Lewis – we have sold an identical clock decorated with boullework, serial number 1896, an another was sold by Sothebys in 2010, serial number 1910.

  • Height 26cm (10 1/4″)

The movement is photographed before servicing. We shall be overhauling the movement and the clock will be sold with a 3-year guarantee.


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Ref: BHVul

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