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Harrison Clock

John Harrison

Category

Horology

Date

1717

Materials

Pine, boxwood, oak, steel and brass

Measurements

2290 x 570 x 330 mm

Place of origin

England

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Collection

Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Billiard Room, Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire, North, National Trust

NT 959830

Caption

John Harrison was born at Nostell, the son of the estate carpenter. The movement of this rare, early clock is made of wood. There are only three known to survive from this time, this is the latest, created in 1717. John Harrison famously went on to solve the ‘longitude problem’, saving the lives of many seafarers.

Summary

8 day hour-striking longcase clock in oak case by John Harrison, Barrow, c.1717 Oak posted frame construction movement with anchor escapement, wood rod pendulum and count-wheel hour striking on a bell. The wheels are of oak with segments of oak teeth sectioned into the rim of the wheels. The oak barrels have oak wheels attached at one end which are driven by a pinion on a winding key, inserted through apertures revealed on removing the two lower spandrels on the dial. The pinions in the movement are cut from solid boxwood and have steel pivots inserted in each end, which run in brass bushes in the oak frame. The original oak pulleys have steel arbors with steel pivots running in steel bearings in the steel stirrup of each pulley. The weights are of lead. The oak dial has a painted gilt centre, with brass cherub and crown spandrels and an engraved brass chapter ring signed: John Harrison, Barrow at VI o’clock. A square calendar aperture shows the date, inscribed in ink on a paper covered disc, signed under the dial Jn Harrison 1717. The oak case has a caddy top hood with three wooden finials. There is a rectangular trunk door and rectangular base with skirting. Note: The case is a later, probably 19th century replacement, as is the wooden rod pendulum.

Marks and inscriptions

y

Makers and roles

John Harrison, clockmaker

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