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Clock History

1. TOMPION - Thomas. London

TOMPION - Thomas. London
  • 1639: born
  • 1713: died
  • 1671: free of Clockmakers Company,
  • 1704: Master of Clockmakers Company,
  • One of the greatest clock and watchmakers; to his work is due the supremacy of English horology in the 18c.; he made some of the first watches with balance-springs. He took Edward BANGER into partnership about 1701, then, apparently, worked alone, and took George GRAHAM into partnership about 1711. On his death, in 1713, Graham continued alone.
  • The watches were numbered in three series, for plain, repeating and special watches, the numbering being continued from Tompion to Graham. Approximate dates and numbers are: with sig. Thos. Tompion to 1701 (No. 3292 plain, No. 203 rep.);
  • Tho. TompionEdwd. Banger from 1701-8 (No. 3252-4119 plain, No. 196-290 rep.);
  • Thos. Tompion 1709-13 (No. 4265-4312 plain, No. 359-392 rep.);
  • T. Tompion& G. Graham 1711-13 (No. 4369-4543 plain);
  • Geo. Graham from 1713 (No. 4669 plain, 393 rep.).
  • Examples of his watches and clocks in most collections. Several one-year clocks (two in Buckingham Palace), including a spring clock striking hours and quarters. Many watches, long case and bracket clocks illustrated of Cescinsky& Webster (English Domestic Clocks, London 1914).
  • Thirteen long case clocks, nine bracket and lantern clocks: Wetherfield. coll. (sold in 1928)
  • Gold, enamelled watch and small lantern clock: British Museum
  • Lantern clock four-month and lantern clocks and watches: Guildhall Museum,and London M.
  • Watch and clock: Cassel Landes-Museum
  • Six watches: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
  • Gold, engraved watch: Mallett coll.

Early watch: Collection of the late Major Chamberlaine

Early watch: Collection of the late Major Chamberlaine
Enamelled clock (OIGNION),late 17.cent.,sign. Thomas Tompion,Londres, single hand, silver champlevé dial. in- and out-side enamelled, verge fusee andchain
  • Enamelled watch: Carnegie Museum
  • Very early repeating watch No. 63, ca,1690: Ilbert coll.

Thomas, junior, nephew. London.

  • 1694: apprenticed
  • 1702: Clockmakers Company.
  • Imprisoned for theft in 1720. Heir to his uncle and prob. retired in 1713.

TOMPION & E. BANGER, London

  • ca.1701-8. Banger was nephew, apprentice and assistant of Tompion, senior. v. Thomas (1).
  • Long case clock: Weth. coll.
  • Fine gold watch: British Museum
  • Striking and repeating watch movement: Guildall Museum.
  • Pair case watch: Science Museum, S. Kensington.
  • Gold repeating watch: Dennison. coll.
  • Bracket clock: illustrated of Cescinsky& Webster (English Domestic Clocks, London 1914)
  • TOMPION & GRAHAM, London.
  • ca.1711-13. Nephew and, from 1696, pupil of Tompion, senior, and succeeded him in his business.
  • Watches Ilbert and Webster colls.and movement. Guilhall Museum.
  • Long case clock Virginia M. signed 'Thomas Tompion and George Graham.' v. Thomas (1).

2. LE ROY- Julien, Paris (Rue de Harley)

  • 1686: born
  • 1713: master
  • 1735: juré, (the word juré is used to indicate the officer of the corporation charged with the duty of inspecting work and workshops, in all the corporations, exept that of London. In Paris, the officer was called at different periods 'juré' 'gardevisiteur' and 'syndic'. In London, the equivalent 'warden' or 'Warden of the Clockmakers Company' is used.
  • 1739: Clockmaker to the King
  • 1759: died
  • A celebrated maker, who raised the status of French watchmaking by the perfection of his work and design.
  • Made an equation clock in 1717, described in Gallon, 'Machines et Inventions,' Vol. ttt.
  • Devised the horizontal arrangement of parts in turret clocks, and gained a great reputation for his turret clocks.
  • Devised a compensation pendulum in 1738 and an escapement for pendulum clocks.
  • First made thin repeating watches by omitting the bell and allowing the hammers to strike on the case.
  • About 1725 introduced the French form of potence with screw adjustment.
  • Wrote several memoirs on horology.
  • Fine Boulle clock: Palais de Fontainebleau.
  • Silver travelling clock and cartel clock: National Museum, Stockholm.

3. LEPAUTE - Jean André, Paris.

  • 1720: born
  • 1787 or 1789: died
  • 1748: Came to Paris and started business with his brother Jean Baptiste (le jeune)
  • 1774: Retired
  • Clockmaker to the King.
  • ln 1752 made a clock with one wheel, showing hours, minutes, seconds and striking hours and quarters
  • In 1753 devised a pin-wheel escapement for clocks, with pins on both sides of the wheel, which has been widely used.
  • Also a clock in which the pendulum made 60 swings for the escape of one tooth.
  • He brought out the double virgule escapement (v. CARON)
  • Published 'Traitéd'Horlogerie', Paris, 1755, 1760 and 1767.
  • Made several public clocks in Paris; one on the École Royale Militaire still working.
  • Clock S.K.M. with case of Vincennes porcelain.
  • Year long case clock: Buckingham Palace.
  • Regulator and equation regulator: Conservatoir des Arts et Métiers, Paris
  • Three clocks: Palais de Fontainebleau.
  • Fine vase clock: Petit Palais.

4. LEPAUTE - Jean Baptiste (le jeune), brother, Paris (Place du Palais Royal)

  • 1727: born
  • 1802: died
  • Clockmaker to the King.
  • In partnership with Jean André, and when he retired in 1774 took into partnership his nephews Pierre HENRY and Pierre Basile LEPAUTE.
  • 1789: Retired