Antique Ormolu Ebonised Chiming Bracket Clock


  • £5,500.00
  • €6,421 Euro
  • $7,522 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2021
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Antique Ormolu Ebonised Chiming Bracket Clock

A superb 19th Century ormolu mounted ebonised three train bracket clock, of large size.
The caddy top case decorated with five flaming urn finials and ribbon-tied foliate festoons, above an arched cast brass glazed door. This is flanked by a caryatid to each corner, with a foliate cast handle and pierced mask arched panel to each side, the clkock is raised on a stepped foot with scroll cast ormolu feet.

It has a 6½in. silvered Roman chapter ring with a matted gilt centre and pierced blue steel hands, the arch above with three subsidiary dials for strike/silent, slow /fast, chime on eight bells/Westminster chime.

The three train chain fusée movement with anchor escapement and pendulum locking block chiming the quarters on eight bells, with pull-quarter repeat and striking the hour on a gong.

It keeps really good time and is delightful to look at and hear the wondrous chimes.

This clock is in excellent working condition, the movement having been cleaned and serviced, the ormolu mounts having been polished, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 62 x Width 62 x Depth 24

Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot x Width 2 foot x Depth 9 inches

The Westminster Quarters is the most common name for a melody used by a set of clock bells to chime on each quarter hour. The number of chime sets matches the number of quarter hours that have passed. It is also known as the Westminster Chimes, or the Cambridge Chimes from its place of origin, the church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge.

This chime is traditionally, though without substantiation, believed to be a set of variations on the four notes that make up the fifth and sixth measures of "I know that my Redeemer liveth" from Handel's Messiah. This is why the chime is also played by the bells of the so-called 'Red Tower' in Halle, the native town of Handel.

It was written in 1793 for a new clock in St Mary the Great, the University Church in Cambridge. There is some doubt over exactly who composed it: Revd Dr Joseph Jowett,Regius Professor of Civil Law, was given the job, but he was probably assisted by either Dr John Randall (1715–99), who was the Professor of Music from 1755, or his brilliant undergraduate pupil, William Crotch (1775-1847).

In the mid-19th century the chime was adopted by the clock tower at the Palace of Westminster (where Big Ben hangs), whence its fame spread. It is now possibly the most commonly used chime for striking clocks. According to the church records of Trinity Episcopal Church (Williamsport, Pennsylvania), this chime sequence was incorporated into a tower clock mechanism by the E. Howard & Co., Boston, MA. The clock and chime in Trinity's steeple base was dedicated in December 1875. It holds the distinction of being the first tower clock in the United States to sound the Cambridge Quarters.

Our reference: 09221


  • H: 62cm (24.41in)
  • W: 62cm (24.41in)
  • D: 24cm (9.45in)


19th Century

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