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The tortoiseshell and brass inlaid rococo style case with ormolu mounts with paw feet and shell casting to the top, the rear door having a pierced gilt sound fret finely engraved with a scroll and floral design.
The silvered dial with engraved Roman numerals signed on the chapter Vulliamy London with an engine turned centre and blued steel ‘Vulliamy’ hands.
The eight-day duration chain fusee movement with anchor escapement driven by a steel rod pendulum with brass bob numbered 1893, together with original numbered winding key.
Overall height: 10″ (25.5cm).
Case height: 9 ¼″ (23.5cm).
Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy was the last of a line of exceptional clockmakers in the Vulliamy family, the first of which was François Justin (always known as Justin Vulliamy), followed by his son Benjamin, and followed by his sons Benjamin Lewis and Justin Theodore.
Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy was born on the 25th January 1780, not a lot is known about his childhood except that he spent most of it at 68 Pall Mall. He joined his father in Pall Mall very early in life, certainly when less than 20 years of age. He received the Freedom of the Clockmakers’ Company in December 1809 and became a liveryman in January 1810 at the age of 30 and was admitted to the Court of Guild in the same year. There he served every office in the Court and was five times elected Master. In his years of service he did much to further the good reputation of the clockmakers’ trade and against increasing odds he succeeded in preserving high standards of craftsmanship which can be seen in almost all of the clocks that he produced.
Unlike his father’s main output, which was of ornamental house clocks and furnishing items, Benjamin Lewis tended to concentrate on using the very best of materials and workmanship in order to give long and trouble free life to his clocks.
The workforce that Vulliamy used were in many instances specialist craftsman or out workers. There were however a number of staff permanently employed at 68 Pall Mall. In particular were members of the Jump family who, after Vulliamy’s death in 1854, went on to found their own famous and very successful business.