Thomas Mudge, London
Clockmaker: Thomas Mudge, London
An important George III mahogany longcase clock. Circa 1765
Figured mahogany break arch case with fine mouldings and a bolection moulded hood door flanked by stop fluted, reeded and canted corners. Surmounted by a four sided concave pedestal with brass ball and flame finial. The break arch trunk door with flame veneers matching the raised panel to the base with double plinth.
12 inch break arch brass dial with silvered subsidiary strike/silent dial to the arch flanked by double screwed pierced foliate spandrels. Finely matted centre with calendar aperture ring and large subsidiary seconds dial, oval cartouche signed Thomas Mudge London. Silvered chapter ring with Roman and Arabic numerals. Blued steel hands.
Substantial eight day movement with thick plates, five baluster pillars, anchor escapement and large backcock for the iron-rod pendulum with T-bar suspension and heavy lenticular brass-faced bob. Striking the hours on bell.
Height 7ft 4 ins (225 cm)
Thomas Mudge (1715-1794) was born in Exeter in 1715 and was apprenticed to the celebrated clock and watch maker George Graham. In 1738, Thomas Mudge became a Freeman Clockmakers' Company. In 1750, just before his former master's death, Mudge opened his business at the 'Dial and One Crown' in Fleet Street. William Dutton joined him, another of Graham's apprentices, into partnership in circa 1765.
In the eighteenth-century Thomas Mudge ranks highly as one of the most accomplished clock and watch makers. The firm of Mudge and Dutton made clocks and watches of high quality, undoubtedly it is Mudge's individual pieces which have placed him in horological history. Of particular note are his perpetual calendar watch and the equation watches made for John Ellicott to sell to the Spanish Royal court. Probably his most celebrated is the marine timekeeper of 1754 with the first detached lever escapement.