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  1. #1

    Default British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock

    Hullo everyone from Bilbao in the Basque Country, Spain! I am glad to share with you nine photographs of a lovely British 18th century longcase clock I purchased recently that was made by the renowned clockmaker Eardley Norton of London. The photographs were taken before I handed the clockwork over to my local clocksmiths for a thorough clean and oiling which as you can see was long overdue and well deserved. Although you may think it has lost one of its weights, I am happy to report that is not the case; the person I acquired it from had kept it in a safe place since the nylon cable had snapped. I trust you like the clock and I very much look forward to reading any comments you would like to make or additional information you can forward about the clock or clockmaker. Thank you, Henry


  2. #2
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    Default Re: British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock (By: taplow)

    Welcome taplow in Spain to the NAWCC message board. Thank you for posting pictures of your beautiful clock. I found one just like it on the net. The only difference was it had a fine line of fret work running across the top between the two outside finials.

    You probably already know the information I found, but I will repeat what I read. Eardley Norton from London was born 1728 and died 1792. He was a London clockmaker between 1760 and 1792. He became a freeman of the Clockmaker Company in 1770.

    Your clock is a George III mahogany long case. It has a strike silencer on a dial and a strike repeat cord inside the case. A really pretty, delicate long case English clock.

    Missy

    P.S. I tried, in vain, to find something on the Walls bracket clock.
    Last edited by Missy; 11-04-2014 at 10:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock (By: taplow)

    Welcome Henry, and a really nice clock!
    Now that there are two people from Bilbao here, perhaps we could become members of the NAWCC and create a local chapter (just kidding)

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  4. #4
    Registered user. jmclaugh's Avatar
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    Default Re: British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Probably my end but I can't see any pictures.

    Anyway I'm sure it is a lovely clock and congrats on acquiring it Henry.
    Jonathan.

  5. #5
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock (By: jmclaugh)

    Jonathan,

    Just click on taplow's nick and you'll see all the pics in his profile.

    Aitor
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  6. #6

    Default Re: British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock (By: ballistarius)

    Nice clock. Interesting to see the number 672 (?) on the arch dial. Eardley numbered his bracket clocks sequentially from what I can tell which gives a fair idea of when they were made. The highest number I have seen definitely made by him is around 3200 which equates to about 100 per year from 1760 to 1792. If he used the same numbering system on his longcases this one would date to about 1770. Have a look at the top right corner of the backplate to see if the number is repeated. It might even be on the top edge of the backplate.

    Eardley Norton was one of the most famous and talented clockmakers of the second half of the 18th Century and was based at 49 St John St, Clerkenwell, London. He was born in Lincolnshire in 1728 and apprenticed to Robert Dawson, a clockmaker in Alford (Lincolnshire) on 17 September 1743 for the usual period of 7 years. Eardley's mothers name was Elizabeth and she was a widow at the time. He was accepted into the Clockmakers Company in 1762 and is noted as a maker from 1771 to 1794. In 1771 he patented (Pat. No. 987) 'a clock which strikes the hours and parts upon a principle entirely new; and a watch which repeats the hours and parts, so concisely contrived as of being conveniently contained not only in a watch but also in its appendage...' (see Britten's Old Clocks and Watches and Their makers, London, 1956, p.446).
    He was appointed Royal Clockmaker to King George III and made an Astronomical Clock for him with four dials that is considered his finest work, which he made to stand in the library of Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace, London). He was paid at the time 1,042 pounds sterling, quite a considerable sum at the time, and it is now a part of the Royal Collection. (see Cedric Jagger Royal Clocks, London, 1983, Figs.151-152).
    Some of his more notable works have been noted at the National Museum of Stockholm (small cartel clock), Cassel Landes Museum, France (clock), Palace Museum, Peking (elaborate automator clock with organ), Virginia Museum, USA (bracket clock) and the Ibert Collection, British Museum (marine chronometer) and an elaborate automaton clock with organ in the Palace Museum, Pekin. In addition three watches made by him are part of the collection of “The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers” (“The Guildhall Collection”) and housed in the City of London. He also made a fine musical clock for Empress Catherine of Russia (Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers, Spon, Seventh Edition 1956, p.446)..
    A musical clock by him adorns the front dust jacket of Richard C R Barder's The Georgian Bracket Clock 1714-1830, Antique Collectors' Club, 1993.
    He is believed to have built up a thriving export business, particularly for his watches. Whilst these may have not been made to the highest quality those made for the domestic market were of top London Manufacture. These were sometimes signed “Yeldrae Notron” (Eardley Norton backwards) possibly to avoid taxes.
    He usually numbered his clocks either on the dial or on the backplate. The highest number recorded is 3792. No. 3766 is signed "Gravell & Tolkien, Successors to Eardley Norton" on the backplate.
    On 30 May 1760 Eardley Norton, in St John Street London, took James Harrison as an apprentice for 7 years.
    In 1772 Sarah Norton, the daughter Eardley Norton, has married clockmaker Samuel Green, at St Andrew in Holborn. About this time Samuel has established himself as an organ builder in Red Lion Street, Holborn.
    Gravell and Tolkien took over his business in 1792 maintaining the firms reputation. In the early 1790’s some of the clocks were signed "GRAVELL & TOLKIEN AND EARDLEY NORTON", or “EARDLEY NORTON" on the dial and "GRAVELL & TOLKIEN" on the movement. It appears Gravell and Tolkien continued to use Eardley’s stock of cases and dials when they took over his business after his death in 1792/94. Soon they started to use "Gravell & Tolkien, Successors to Eardley Norton". They continued working from the same premises in St Johns St London until 1820, followed by William Gravell & Son (1820-50), and Robert Rolfe (from 1850).

  7. #7

    Default Re: British 18th Century Eardley Norton Longcase Clock (By: taplow)

    Also I've got a copy of Eardley's will which is 10 pages long if you are interested. It is pretty hard to read but does have some interesting information.

    Cheers
    Dean

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