The Selby Lowndes Tompion

Thomas Tompion c.1693: The Selby Lowndes Tompion No.217 full grande sonnerie and quarter-repeating ebony mantle clock.

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Clocktime, a project compiled over eight years, is a free website and it is hoped it will fuel interest in British clocks and watches for future generations.

The site is animated and interactive. It is meant for newcomers to the topic of British horology as well as those who are more experienced.

Clocks can be seen running in real time and correspond with the local time of the site’s visitor. The catalogue includes 24 items so far, such as the Norfolk Fromanteel, 1660, by Ahasuerus Fromanteel, which was the first London designed grandfather striking clock, and the Selby Lowndes Tompion.

Also on the site is a selection of videos featuring Taylor introducing key pieces, including a four-part series on the col lection’s Val l in astrological table clock and a three-part series on the King James Portrait watch. There are also biographical pages on leading historical characters (from central figures such as Thomas Tompion to patrons including Elizabeth I), articles on various topics and a timeline starting with prehistoric timekeepers.

Ahasuerus Fromanteel Norfolk Fromanteel longcase

Ahasuerus Fromanteel c.1660: The Norfolk Fromanteel ebony architectural longcase with five-wheel movement roller cage verge bob pendulum. The first London designed grandfather striking clock.

The site launches on March 12 in an event headlined by watchmaker and historian Rebecca Struthers, author of the new book Hands of Time.

Known for his invention of the bi-metallic thermostat crucial to the working of all electric kettles, Taylor started building up his famed collection of early English clocks in the mid-1970s. Some key pieces were part of an exhibition at Bonhams in 2018 and others have been sold by clock specialist Carter Marsh.

David Ramsay astrological watch

David Ramsay c.1618: Astrological gilt oval watch in engraved silver case with King James portrait and arms by Gérard de Heck.

Some of those sold pieces also appear on the website. Other collectors who have items they think might fit with the site are invited to contact its curators.