Rare half quarter cylinder repeater

Stock No. 1652

Matthew Hill
London, 1794
Silver gilt pair cases, 48 mm
Cylinder, half quarter repeating movement


An excellent quality London cylinder repeater.

MOVEMENT : Gilded movement with round baluster pillars, small regulator disk, large diamond endstone, blued screws, and beautifully pierced and engraved balance cock.

Protected by a removable silver dust cap, signed and numbered as the movement.

The movement is signed (Matt. Hill, London), and numbered (417)

All in good condition. Running well and repeating correctly.

DIAL : A fine white enamel dial, in excellent condition.

Blued steel hands.

INNER CASE : Silver gilt, with pierced sound holes. Hallmarked for London, 1794, maker’s mark RG.

The case is in good condition, with just a little wear to the gilding The hinge is fine and the bezel snaps shut nicely. The stem and bow are fine, and original. The high dome bull’s eye crystal is also fine.
The cast bronze bell is attached to this inner case.

OUTER CASE : Gilt brass, with pierced sound holes as the inner.

Engraved on the back with initials (could be RS) and the motto “HARARD ZIT FORWARD” (no matter what go forward) above a family crest.

The catch, catch button and hinge are all fine and the bezel snaps shut nicely.
Just a little wear to the gilding, mainly to the centre of the back.

The crest (dragon) and motto on the case is probably that of the Seton family of East Lothian, Scotland.

Matthew Hill is listed in London from 1744 until about 1790 and from 1777 was in Upper Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia.

The case maker is Richard Groves of Gray’s Road, London.
The half-quarter repeater can sound the time to half a quarter hour, or ​71⁄2 minutes. It strikes hours and then quarter hours, like the quarter repeater, then it uses a single tone in order to signal if more than half of the current quarter hour has passed. For example, if the time is 3:41 the mechanism will strike 3 tones (“dong”) to represent 3 hours, then 2 sequence tones (“ding-dong”) to represent 2 quarter hours, then one tone (“ding”) to indicate that more than half of the third quarter hour has passed.