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Miniature Bracket Timepiece: M.3-1965

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Miniature Bracket Timepiece
Translated as: Miniature Bracket Timepiece with 8 day time movement. Unusual design of gilt cherub spandrels with crossed wings.


Maker of movement: Tompion, Thomas




Dial: Dial plate 4 1/8 inches (10.5 cm) across and 4 1/2 inches (11.4 cm) high, the centre engraved with the signature `Tho:Tompion Londini fecit' and a floral design. The gilt cherub spandrels of unusual design with crossed wings, a type which appears to have been restricted to Tompion minature clocks; Christopher Wren used a similar motif in a number of his buildings. The narrow silvered chapter ring with the 5 minute numbers within the minute divisions and simple half hour markings. Silvered alarm-setting disc behind the hour hand and a winding square within the chapter ring at XII for the going. Blued steel hands of simple early design. The dial plate with spare holes formerly used to fix a different chapter ring and one dial foot cut off. Movement: 8 day timepiece movement, with quarter repeating and alarm, with latched pillars and dial feet. Verge escapement set at about 30o to the vertical with the pendulum between the front plate and the dial, consisting of two wires in diamond formation to avoid the hour wheel pipe and with a lenticular shaped bob visible in a cut away section at the base of the dial. Repeating quarters on a small bell and hours on a larger one, the hours 7 - 12 being repeated as 1 - 6 to save power. The alarm train set at right angles to the going and wound through a hole in the right-hand case fret. The movement withdrawn from the case from below after sliding forward the bottom front moulding, necessitated by the very close fit of the movement in the case. Case: Blued steel with gilt metal mouldings, basket top and frets in side and rear openings. The basket top and frets of scrolling acanthus design. The door with silver moulding round glass and silver escutcheon. The case has no rear opening. Numbered `21' on rear right foot.


History note: Dr Thurston; sold at Sotheby's, July 1932, ADD TITLE as `the property of Dr. Thurston'; then S.E. Prestige Esq.

Legal notes

S.E. Prestige Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 19.0 cm
Height: 7½ in

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1965) by Prestige, Sidney Ernest


Charles II
17th Century, Late
Production date: circa AD 1680

School or Style


Components of the work

Case composed of steel
Movement composed of brass (alloy)

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Tho:Tompion Londini fecit
  • Location: On dial plate
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.3-1965
Primary reference Number: 131083
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 17 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Miniature Bracket Timepiece" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-15 04:58:14

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