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Comitti of London
Rolling Ball Clock
A favourite of clock collectors, the Military Timepiece or Rolling Ball Clock was invented by Sir William Congreve and presented to the Prince of Wales in 1808. The original clock can be viewed at Buckingham Palace.
Congreve was a prolific inventor famous for making the first solid fuel rockets at The Royal Arsenal in Woolwich in 1805 and subsequently used during the Napoleonic wars.
It has been suggested that his clock was created for military purposes, this would certainly make sense because the principle of the mechanism is such that the accuracy is limited to +/- 15 minutes per day.
In effect it is a very robust timing device that would have been relatively easy to transport and set up by the military in the field for the timing of the flight of artillery rocket batteries.
The traverse of the ball along the grooves of the inclined platform regulates the clock by tripping the escapement at the end of each cycle and reversing the slope.
The 8 day fusee movement is hand made from solid brass, gold plated and protected by a crystal glass canopy. The solid mahogany base with key drawer is decorated with fine curl veneers. The base has a hand rubbed waxed finish.
15.25" H x 19.25" W x 10.25" D including glass cover
availability is limited to 25 pieces worldwide
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