Leigh Extence
Fine Antique Clocks

The Verge Escapement - on both watches and movements

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There are generally two types of regulation used with verge escapements, along with a later third used primarily for lever  escapements. The early type, as devised by Thomas Tompion, has a rosette attached to the backplate which, when turned,  shortens or lengthens the amount of hairspring used and therefore regulates the speed at which the balance swings and so the  timekeeping. This type was used when the hairspring was set below the balance, and above the plate. In 1755 Joseph Bosley  patented his type of early regulation, in which a lever was used, the end sitting on the backplate moved across an index allowing  the owner to easily regulate his own watch. Although patented in the mid-1700’s this style of regulation didn’t come into general use  until the early 1800’s. With the advent of the lever escapement, and the hairspring being positioned above the balance, a further  later development of the Bosely was made with the arm now coming out above the balance to the front and usually having a raised  quadrant on which is engraved the index.  All movements with chain fusee, pierced and/or engraved cocks and makers name engraved straight onto the backplate.   Exhibit: A grey movement with a verge escapement  With Tompion Regulation  1 Cornelius Clark, Kendal: with mask engraved decoration to the fully pierced cock, Tompion style regulation, square baluster  pillars and decorative pierced fusee stop apron. Missing balance and regulator. (card un-numbered)  Cornelius Clarke is recorded working in Kendal, Westmoreland circa 1710. One other maker of this name is known having been made free in Lancaster in 1733 before working in Kendal and died in 1759, but probably to late to be the maker of this movement. 2 Corns. Manley, Norwich: with mask engraved decoration to the fully pierced cock, Tompion style regulation, Egyptian pillars  and decorative pierced stop apron.  Cornelius Manley is recorded as working in Norwich, Norfolk from circa 1702 until his death in 1722. An interesting advert from this year, as in the Norfolk Gazette, dated 10th Feb 1722 and presumably posted after his death, reads: ‘A very convenient dwelling house in S Peter of Mancroft, right against the church, wherein Mr Cornelius Manley formerly lived, to be lett’. Many fine longcase clocks are known made by Manley, as well as silver cased verge watches including on in the Liverpool museum and another in the Goldsmiths College collection. 3 M. Jenkins, London, 3052: with wolf-head engraved decoration to the fully pierced cock, Tompion style regulation, square  baluster pillars and decorative pierced stop apron. M. Jenkins recorded as working in London from before 1750.  4 Wm. Evill, Bath, 5164: with the pierced & engraved apron having a finger pointing to the Tompion style regulator, square  baluster pillars, decorative pierced stop apron. With a white porcelain dial.  Missing balance and cock. James Evill worked in partnership with his brother William, who ran a general jewellery concern, until his  death in 1793. James became 'Goldsmith, Watchmaker and Cutler to The Duke of York' after he made a gold box to be presented to  the Duke on his freedom of the City of Bath. By 1809 his business was known as 'Evill & Sons, Jewellers'  when he was working  with his son William who was born in 1791. William continued the business at the top of Old Bond Street and finally retired in 1829.  5 Wm. Evill, Bath, 7893: with Tompion style regulation, square baluster pillars, decorative pierced stop apron. The frontplate  stamped I.S. Missing balance, cock and regulator. Evill, see previous entry. 6 Wm. Foster, London, 3818: with mask-head engraving to the pierced cock and engraved, non-pierced, tail, Tompion style  regulation, turned round pillars. William Foster is recorded working in London having been apprenticed in 1672 and free of the  Clockmakers Company in 1681, he was probably a Quaker.  7 H. Lyon, York, 14920: with female-head engraved cameo to the finely pierced cock, with un-pierced tail and plate, Tompion  style regulation, round turned pillars, white enamel dial with black Roman numerals and subsidiary seconds dial. With stop lever.  H. Lyon, York appears to be unrecorded although there are a few makers named Lyon working in the area including Charles in 1787. 8 Jeffreys, Chatham, 40014: fully engraved backplate, with Tompion regulator and turned round pillars, missing both the cock and balance, numbered on the bridge.  Edward Jeffreys, married in 1787, was the son of George who was apprenticed in Maidstone in 1748 to Robert Cutbush and then recorded in Chatham from 1755 until 1783. He was the son of a carpenter, William. A number of fine clocks are known made by him including one particular rare wall clock with a fusee movement and a ten-inch round silvered dial. With Bosley regulation  9 Willm. Edwards, Derby, 3993: with fierce mask-head engraving to the pierced cock and engraved, non-pierced, tail, jeweled  to the balance pivot, flat three-arm steel balance, traditional Bosley style regulation, turned round pillars, the number repeated to the  underside of the cock along with the initials of the blank maker, WN.  William Edwards was apprenticed to James Wright of Derby on the 7th of July 1783 for a period of seven years. He married in 1797  having opened his premises in Rotten Row in 1790. The business was sold to D. Holme in circa 1850.  10  Robt. Henderson, London, 1602: with a shaped, engraved un-pierced cock, flat three-arm steel balance, Bosley style  regulation, turned round pillars, with wheatear border engraving to the backplate.  Robert Henderson is recorded working in St Martins Court from circa 1768 until after 1805.  11 Osborn, Grt. Russell Strt, London, 480: with engraved mask-head decoration to the engraved un-pierced cock, flat three-  arm steel balance, Bosley style regulation, turned round pillars, with the addition of lever-controlled stop, the frontplate stamped ‘S’.  12  S. Simms, Chipping Norton, 24733: with floral c-scroll engraved decoration to the un-pierced cock, flat three-arm steel  balance, Bosley style regulation and turned round pillars.  Samuel Simms is recorded working in Chipping Norton, Oxon, from circa 1790 until 1869 and was the son of the clockmaker John  and grandson of the maker also John.  13  J. Long, London, 1376: a sedan clock movement with a flat steel three-bar balance to the verge escapement, engraved  balance cock and Bosley regulation.  Probably John Long who was known to be working in London circa 1828 and before.  14 Anon, 4574: fusee with a flat steel three-bar balance with a finely engraved cock with Fierce mask-head and engraved bridge, early Bosley regulation. 15  Anon, 2697: fusee with a flat steel three-bar balance with a finely engraved cock and front apron, with a Bosley regulation.  Watches with verge escapements  16  Bacon, Worthing, 54578: with a shaped cock, five-arm balance, jeweled cock, the dust cap stamped IxR, the silver open-  faced case hallmarked London 1814, stamped with the case makers initials SB, for Samuel Brookes, 2 Ashby Street, Clerkenswell,  the inner case engraved J. Price to Charles Price, with the outer case engraved J.P.  17  Jas. Mccabe Royal Exchange, London, No. 10163: a tripod ‘clock’, the fusee movement signed on the backplate, with the  verge escapement having a finely pierced and engraved cock with diamond endstone and with traditional Bosley regulation,  stamped IMC or SW under the cock and top plate, the dial numbered 10163, the dust cover stamped R.E within a cameo, in a gilt  tripod case. As seen on the front cover.  For details of James McCabe see other exhibits.   Click on Image to Enlarge
8  De La Cour, Chatham
12  Simms, Chipping Norton
  13  Long, London
9  Williams, Derby
10  Henderson, London
4 & 5  Evill, Bath
11  Osborn, London
 6  Foster, London
1  Clark, Kendal
15  Anon 2697
2  Manley Pillars
2  Manley, Norwich
3  Jenkins, London  
7  Lyon, York
13 Anon 3842
17  McCabe Movement
5  Mayo Dial
17  McCabe Tripod
Verge Grey