Wooden-Cased Carriage Clock by Barraud & Lunds

By the second half of the 19th Century, the English clockmaking industry had been decimated by foreign competition and only a handful of the leading firms survived, such as Dent, Frodsham and Jump. Their most lasting horological legacy is the giant carriage clock, which was unique to that era and became a kind of unofficial badge of office of the Englishman abroad.

Among these firms was Barraud & Lunds, founded by the great chronometer maker Paul Phillip Barraud and at the forefront of technical innovation. In 1876, they patented a system for synchronising electric clocks, which was still in use in the Second World War and in 1881, they were among the first subscribers to the telephone. Paradoxically, the following year, they fired their bank, Martins, on the grounds that their Chairman had seen fit to attend Charles Darwin’s funeral at Westminster Abbey!

We recently acquired an interesting example of their wooden-cased carriage clocks, which are extremely rare; it bears the serial number 2462, which dates it to 1865. The walnut case is bronze-bound in an architectural style, contrasting with an engraved silvered dial. The timepiece movement is of splendid quality, finished to chronometer standard, the platform lever escapement with cut steel balance for temperature compensation.

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