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Widenham & Adams, Lombard Street, London. c.1860 -- Stock no. 3324

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Widenham & Adams, Lombard Street, London. c.1860

A unique drop dial wall timepiece with passing hour strike on a gong. The 12” diameter silvered engraved brass dial signed ‘Widenham & Adams, Lombard Street, London’, and with the Latin motto ‘RESPICE FINEM’ in place of hour numerals. This can be loosely translated as ‘consider the end’ - a moralistic motto adopted by several colleges and institutions. The case with glazed pendulum aperture, is profusely decorated with baroque swags, and is most remarkably surmounted by a depiction of  Satyr and Satyress pouring presumably wine from an amphora.

Stock no. 3324

Widenham and Adams are recorded working at this address from c.1835 until 1844, and possibly later. As well as being business partners, they were related by marriage; Richard Widenham’s daughter marrying Adams. Richard Widenham was an eminent maker, making chronometers and watches for the Admiralty. This clock is therefor an enigma - a clock made to the highest quality standards, with the paradox of moralistic overtones of the motto formed in place of the numerals, (and the faintly religious form of the hands), with the pagan symbolism of drinking Satyrs. We have been unable to discover for whom this clearly one off clock was made, but perhaps the message is that one should be aware that debauchery has its inevitable consequence.