Fromanteel & Clarke Alarm
Stock No. 1789
Fromanteel & Clarke,
London or Amsterdam, c1700
Silver case, 57 mm.
Verge, alarm, calendar movement
A single handed, verge alarm in pair cases, with calendar ring.
MOVEMENT : A fine single handed gilt verge alarm movement. Beautifully engraved and pierced plate and balance bridge. Engraved alarm barrel, large silver regulator disk and four crested Egyptian pillars.
The steel alarm mechanism strikes the bell with a steel hammer.
Signed Fromanteel et. Clarke.
There are two winding arbors. The one through the balance bridge table winds the fusee, and the other winds the alarm strike barrel.
The movement is in very good complete condition, complete and original. It is running well. The alarm functions correctly.
DIAL : Fine silver champleve dial, with central silver alarm disk., and outer calendar ring.
Good condition throughout.
The single hand (which is attached to the alarm disk) is set by turning (clockwise) the disk, using the small stud on the alarm disk at 6.
The alarm is set by turning the central arbor with a key (again clockwise) until the central pointer indicates the alarm time required on the disk.
INNER CASE : Silver, pierced around the band.
Nice condition throughout. The high dome bull’s eye crystal is fine. The hinge is a little worn, but complete and the bezel snaps shut.
The bell, screwed to the inside, is good, with no damage or repairs.
OUTER CASE : Brass body with silver rims.
This case would originally have had a shagree, shell or leather covering, pinned to the brass base. Other than the absent covering, the case is in good condition. The hinge, catch and catch button are good and the bezel snaps shut.
This partnership was between Christopher Clarke (b.1668, d1735) and either Abraham Fromanteel (b.1646 d.1731) and/or Ahasuerus (II) Fromanteel (b.1640 d.1703)
Christopher Clarke was Ahasuerius(II) Fromanteel’s son-in-law. Ahasuerius and his brother, John, moved to Amsterdam c.1680, another brother Abraham had been working mainly in Newcastle, moving to London c1680. In 1694 Christopher Clarke married Ahasuerus’ daughter Anna.
John died in 1692, and Ahaseurus in 1703, and after this it seems Ahaseurus’ son-in-law joined with Abraham Fromanteel, and worked as ‘Fromanteel & Clarke’ – possibly with Clarke working in Amsterdam, and Abraham in London. Some items are signed London, and there was a shop for ‘Fromanteel & Clarke’ in Amsterdam.
It may be that ‘Fromanteel & Clarke’ was also in use before Ahasuerus’ death, Clarke working either with his father in law, or with Abraham, (who was in Holland for some of the time between 1694-1697).
(Ref. British Museum biography).
This watch could have been made in London or Amsterdam, and the shape of the balance bridge certainly has Dutch influence.