Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London
Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London
Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London

Gilded Oval Strut Clock by Thomas Cole of London

  • This elegantly gilded strut clock was designed for travel by famed English clockmaker Thomas Cole
  • The ornamental case, bezel, strap and dial are one-of-a-kind, a characteristic of Cole’s creations
  • A bursting fruit bowl and a blooming vine of morning glories is masterfully engraved on the dial
  • Cobalt-lacquered minute and hour hands point to Roman numerals in this portable clock’s chapter ring
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Item No. 31-0157
$44,500
description
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description
Crafted by the great Victorian clockmaker Thomas Cole, this elegantly gilded 30-hour timepiece is a pristine example of the portable “strut clocks” which skyrocketed the English horologist’s fame. The oval dial features a silvered engraving of a bowl bursting with fruit, vegetables and eggs in a classical cornucopia-like motif at its center. Blue-lacquered minute and hour hands point to Roman numerals in its chapter ring encircled by a silver border of blooming morning glory vines. A folding, easel-like “strut” arm hinged on the backside of the case allows the timepiece to be easily propped up table-side. Fitted with a Swiss going-barrel movement, tapered plates are joined by four cylindrical pillars and lever escapement with a plain three-arm balance. A singular characteristic of the superb clocks made by Thomas Cole are the exquisite engravings ornamenting the bezel, case and strapwork, and this present example’s gilded exterior is no exception.

Born the son of a clockmaker in Somerset in 1800, Thomas Cole inherited his father’s trade as a horologist. Cole opened his own independent London workshop in 1838, and by 1845 found great success marketing himself as a “designer and maker of ornamental clocks.” Cole exhibited his strut clocks to much public acclaim at the Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace in London. A step up from the bulky and often unwieldily carriage clocks of the day, Cole’s innovation was seen as outstanding for the thin, yet no less opulent gilded-metal casings that made these clocks portable and ideal for travel. These flat timepieces fit seamlessly into luggage and could be propped up on a desk, bedside table, vanity or mantle with a hinged strut arm, and only needed to be wound every 30 hours. Thomas Cole manufactured his patented 30-hour strut clocks in oval, rectangular and even tripod designs, constructing more than 1,600 original clocks in the span of his career before his death in 1864. No two clock cases and dial masks made by this great English clockmaker are exactly alike, making each of Cole’s timepieces one-of-a-kind rarities with exceptional value.

A very similar but less ornate, later-period strut clock by Thomas Cole of London appears in Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking by J.B. Hawkins, 1975, on page 77.

Circa 1854

Movement signed: “Tho's Cole, London”
Case stamped with clock model: “No. 1180”

16 3/4" high x 13 1/4" wide x 6" diameter
specifications
Period: 19th Century
Origin:England
Type:Other
Style:Other
Depth:6.0 Inches
Width:13.25 Inches
Height:16.75 Inches
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