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Verre Eglomise Regulator

Arguably one of the most elegant case styles among Longcase clocks at the end of the 18th Century was that used by Mudge and Dutton, involving a breakarch hood surmounted by a simple curved block with a single large ball finial. It is not normally associated with regulators as such, which at that time tended to be housed in a flat-topped breakarch shape.

We have acquired a very unusual regulator with a hood that has the fundamental “M & D” shape but with a variant that I have never seen before in the literature: the silvered dial is circular, within a full-width opening hood door. The arched door space above it is occupied by a bold crescent of verre eglomise bearing the word ‘REGULATOR’.

The clock is signed on the dial ‘Thomas Patrick of Wisbeach (sic) in Cambridgeshire’ but the movement was made in London by Handley and Moore and is so signed on the frontplate with the serial number 1492. The intersection of the known dates for these two terms means that the instrument can be dated with some accuracy to the period 1815-1824.

(You will search in vain for a dictionary definition of the term ‘verre eglomise’ I came across the explanation in the glossary of a book on silhouette artists, namely that the technique was invented in France around 1760 by one Jean Baptiste Glomi, who managed to fix gold leaf to the back of glass and then burnish it.)

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