Y A Victorian brass inlaid rosewood two-day marine chronometer
Hennessy, Swansea, circa 1875
The four pillar full-plate single chain fusee movement with spotted plates, Harrison's maintaining power and Earnshaw type spring detent escapement regulated by split bimetallic balance with circular timing weights and helical balance spring, the frontplate stamped with serial number 1375, the 4 inch circular silvered Roman numeral dial with gold spade steel hands, subsidiary seconds engraved with an anchor, power reserve dial, and inscribed HENNESSY, Maker to the Admiralty, SWANSEA, No. 1375 to centre, set in a lacquered brass bowl with screw-down bezel mounted within pivoted gimbals with locking screw, the rosewood three-tier case with brass shield nameplate engraved J.O.D. Maggie within double-line borders to top, over conforming front with push-button clasp for the top tier above circular inset ivory panel inscribed HENNESSY, 5 Wind St., SWANSEA to the middle tier and with inset brass key escutcheon over further disc engraved 1375 to the bottom tier, the sides with recessed brass carrying handles and conforming brass bound edges, 18cm (7ins) wide.
Bernard Hennessey is recorded in Peate, Iowerth C. CLOCK AND WATCH MAKERS IN WALES as working from 5 Wind Street, Swansea 1841-75. He was a noted Nautical Instrument-maker, specialising in chronometers and marine barometers, including sympiesometers.
Movement is in relatively clean working condition with no visible alteration or obvious replacements. There are a few spots of discolouration to the brass hence a gentle clean and service may be advisable. The dial has overall light patchy discolouration/tarnishing to the silvering otherwise appears to be in fine condition. The brass bowl and gimbal assembly appears all-original and has old dark bronze coloured lacquer finish which is now fairly heavily worn. The silvered canted insert to the glazed bezel also has some discolouration/degradation where it meets the glass.
The case appears to be in sound original condition. The leading edge of the top has been repaired by inserting a new quarter-round profile along the full width; the adjacent (ie. outer) brass strings are consequently missing from the leading edge of the top and front. There is also a small loss of stringing to the left corner front of the top tier otherwise all brass inlay appears to be intact and with minimal lifting. Faults to the case are otherwise generally very much limited to minor shrinkage, bumps, scuffs and wear commensurate with age and use with the finish having and overall slightly faded appearance.
Instrument retains its original tipsy winder but has no case key.
Condition Report Disclaimer