Project Description

845  G. F. FRODSHAM, 31 GRACECHURCH STREET, LONDON.

A GIANT FRENCH PETITE SONNERIE STRIKING CARRIAGE CLOCK WITH ENGRAVED MASK.  CIRCA 1885.

For an overview, please click on one of the images above and scroll through the gallery. For images that you can enlarge to examine in greater detail, please scroll down to the end of this page.

The giant gorge case is fully glazed with bevel edged glass and has been sympathetically re-gilded. It has a ripple handle with a full size viewing window below displaying its giant platform escapement.

The white enamel dial has black Roman numerals and Arabic five minute marks and a dot minute track. The centre of the dial is faintly signed ‘G. F. Frodsham, 31 Gracechurch Street, London.’ The fine blued steel hands are of Breguet moon design and secured with a polished steel collet. The dial is set within a beautifully engraved and gilded mask.

The substantial eight day two train spring movement strikes the hours and quarters on two blued steel coiled gongs. It has nicely turned pillars and the back plate is securely held in place with large polished and blued steel screws and brass collets rather than the usual taper pins.

The large and impressive platform escapement almost fills the top glass. It has a double coquerette and a bi-metallic balance with poising and timing screws. The escapement, which is silvered, is secured with polished steel collets and blued screws and the plate is engraved ‘G. F. Frodsham, 31 Gracechurch St, London.’

Charles Allix writes in ‘Carriage Clocks’ quarter striking clocks will mostly be found to be of good quality. They were never made in large numbers, and were considered special and exclusive. It is fair to say the combination of giant and petite sonnerie make this clock incredibly rare, which proves the point that the Frodshams of Gracechurch Street only retailed the finest examples.

Height to base of handle: 8½” (21 cm)

John Frodsham was born in 1785 and admitted to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1822. He had a son, Henry John, and took him on as an apprentice in 1830. Henry was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1838.

John had premises at 33 Gracechurch Street from circa 1825 to 1837. The business moved next door to number 31 where they remained until the turn of the century. It is recorded that the business was trading as Frodsham & Son from 1834 to 1853. John Frodsham died in 1849 and the Frodsham business went into partnership with Baker in 1854 and traded as Frodsham & Baker until 1863.

G. F. Frodsham (possibly George) were trading from 1882 until the turn of the century.

References:

‘Victorian Clocks’ by Richard Good
‘Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World’ by Brian Loomes.

Contact us

G F Frodsham, 31 Gracechurch Street: Price £9,500

To purchase this item, or arrange a viewing - click here »
Contact us

Click on the images below to view at 100% in a new browser window. To zoom in even further, press ‘cmd’ or ‘Ctrl’ & the ‘+’ key. Or simply expand on your touch screen phone or tablet. NB: to revert to your normal screen size after viewing press ‘cmd’ or ‘Ctrl’ & the ‘-‘ key.