Skip to main content

Chiming Longcase Clock: MAR.M.208-1912

Object information


Chiming Longcase Clock
Translated as: Longcase clock with 8 day movement and Westminster chime on 4 bells.


Foster, William, clockmaker (Clockmaker)


Dial: Break-arch brass dial plate 14 inches across. Foli¬ate engraved centre, signed ‘Willm Foster Manchester', silvered chapter ring, and large cherub spandrels (C & W, No.13) of the type often used on late 18th century North Country dials. In the arch a lunar dial incorporating a painted disc probably on the original clock. Modern stamped steel hands of serpentine design. Levers in slots at III and IX for selecting 4 bells/8 bells chime, Strike/Silent respectively. The whole dial and movement made late 19th or early 20th century to replace a painted dial striking clock and probably with the maker's name transferred from the original dial.

Movement: 8 day movement, chiming quarters on four or eight bells as required and striking hours on a coiled steel wire gong. It gives Westminster chimes on four bells, which did not become popular until after their adoption for the ‘Big Ben' clock in 1859. As stated above, the movement was made towards the end of the 19th century or even later.

Case: Mahogany carcase veneered with figured mahogany and inlaid with chequered stringing, fans and swags, some of which probably date from the `improvements' of the late 19th century. Detached fluted columns, with brass corinthian capitals and bases to hood and trunk and fluted canted corners to plinth. Horn-top pediment with blind frets and wooden paterae. One brass spire finial but with holes for two more. A typical Lancashire case, so probably supplied with the Foster clock.


History note: Unknown before testator

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 250.2 cm
Height: 8' 2½ " ft

Place(s) associated

  • Manchester ⪼ Lancashire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


Late 18th century
Late 19th Century
Circa 1790 CE - 1900 CE


The case c. 1790; movement late 19th century

Components of the work

Carcase composed of mahogany Hands composed of steel Capitals composed of brass (alloy) Decoration

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: m in William raised

  • Text: Willm Foster Manchester
  • Location: On dial
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.M.208-1912
Primary reference Number: 162435
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Friday 21 May 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Chiming Longcase Clock" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-02 05:46:01

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Chiming Longcase Clock |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-02 05:46:01|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Grandmother Clock

Accession Number: M.24-1950

Roman Striking Longcase Clock

Accession Number: M.2-1965

Equation Longcase Clock

Accession Number: M.1-1957

Longcase equation and astronomical clock

Accession Number: M.21-1947

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...