James McCABE, Royal Exchange, London. No 329


£ 3,995.00

Lovely small 2-day box chronometer in fine condition by this famous firm, circa 1840.

More details

Nicely figured 3-piece mahogany box with plain ivory and brass plaques, the brass case key held in a slot in the mahogany case wall, accessed via the lid, a nice feature and the earliest I have seen this done. Beautifully signed fullplate fusee with cap jewels on balance (diamond) and escape, the movement retaining most of the original spotting. Earnshaw spring-detent escapement, the detent of standard footed form with gold passing-spring. Compensation balance with 9-turn blued-steel helical balance-spring. Silvered dial with state-of-wind indication at 12, gold hands. Box 15.5 cm square.

James McCabe, the firm then at the Royal Exchange, one of London premier watch and clock makers and also chronometer makers at this point. Although far better known for their watches and chronometers, the McCabe firm entered various chronometers at the Greenwich Trails and also supplied chronometers to some of the early 19th century expeditions. For example, No 227 was used on HMS Beagle's 1st voyage, 1826-30; No 471, cased as an exhibition chronometer, was supplied to the Maharaja of Kashmir around 1860; and No 532, one of three McCabe's from Dun Echt Observatory, Aberdeen, was used for the Transit of Venus Expedition to Mauritius in 1874.

Previously sold by the specialist chronometer dealer R J Low in 1963. The box has just been lightly polished and shows almost no age related marks, the brass furniture, key, bowl and gimbals retaining much of their lacquer. Dial in very good original condition, with just a few minor age spots. The detent also in fine condition, showing no bends or damage to the spring section. Serviced and guaranteed.