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Thompson & Vine, London.


A fine French oval striking, repeating and alarm carriage clock with original leather travelling case and numbered key. The gilded oval case with curved bevelled glasses with unusual decoration, stamped J.J.D Brevete S.G.D.G. Fine engine turned mask dial with enamel alarm subsidiary dial below the main dial. Eight day movement with the original silvered platform lever escapement, striking the hours and half hours on a gong, the backplate stamped Pons Medaille D'or 1827 and numbered 3285.

Date circa. 1870

Height 5 1/2 inches (14 cm)

Thompson and Vine are listed in Clockmakers of the World as working in London, Aldersgate, (1868 to 1887). Vine & Thompson (1888-1957). Edwar John Thompson was apprenticed to his brother in law Hugh McLachan a chronometer and watchmaker at 17 Upper Smithfield. His nephew Thomas Walter Vine joined in 1848. E.J.Thompson was twice Master of the Clockmakers Company.

Honoré Pons, a Parisian clockmaker who settled in Saint-Nicolas in 1807. He revived and industrialised clockmaking, and Saint-Nicolas became a major centre for clockmaking, known throughout France and Europe.

After the French Revolution, Saint-Nicolas d’Aliermont suffered a severe economic crisis. Unemployment was rife and misery overcame the Plateau d’Aliermont. Alerted by Savoye-Rollin, the Prefect of the department of Seine-Inférieure, Jean de Champagny, the Minister of the Interior, asked the Académie des Sciences to find, as soon as possible, a competent man who could save the clockmaking industry in Aliermont. Honoré Pons, a young and inventive clockmaker, was thus recommended for the job.

A highly skilled clockmaker, Pons transformed Saint-Nicolas into a centre for clockmaking. He was one of the pioneers of large-scale industrialisation in France and had considerable influence.

The style of decoration to this case is unusual, the case is marked with a French Patent mark, sans guarantie du gouvernement and the initials J.J.D, most likely the firm who cast the case for Pons.