Design Features

There are some variations in decorative features between individual William Gray clocks, which are set out below; The replicas’ case construction is of the traditional 3rd period (last quarter C17th) London pattern, with the top and bottom plates sandwiched to the pillars by the finials and feet. The bell strap is sprung into place with four pins entering the finials, and the bell is suspended from it by a screw into the top finial.
The clocks all have slender urn finials, slender parallel sided pillars, and plain ball feet. The bell is usually polished, with a relatively matt finish and is usually yellow in colour.
The bell strap always has pierced leaf decoration around its centre, but the frets are either dolphin or lion and unicorn style. The front (and sometimes the side) frets are engraved. The shields of the lion and unicorn frets are often engraved with dates or patterns. The brochure shows a clock with the date 1720 engraved on the shield, and another partial view of a decoratively engraved shield.
Each William Gray clock has a different hand engraved dial plate, always with the engraving left unfilled. The dial plates are usually signed “William Gray London” above the centre arbor. A small number of these clocks are signed “Dent London” or “Thomas Taylor London”
The chapter rings have an inner track marked in quarter hours, trident half hour markers and an outer circle beyond the hour numerals. Some chapter rings are plain, but some are silvered. Usually the engraving is filled with black wax. The hour hands are of uniform design, but with different qualities of execution, all bearing a close resemblance to Cescinsky & Webster Plate 1, No. 10.
Cast brass turn catches are used on the brass side doors, which have applied hinge pins. The back plate is also of brass, with the verge pendulum hanging down outside it. The upper part of the pendulum bob is usually of a gently concave curved, almost conical, shape; with a gently curving base (Figure 6).
Although the brochure shows a clock with a hoop, most if not all clocks were supplied without either a hoop or spurs, and are designed to stand on a bracket.
The optional bracket supplied with the clocks was of a red hardwood with a plain top.
Below the bracket, a brass cased cylindrical weight with domed ends hangs from a pulley on the drive chain. This weight is approximately 15lb.
The movement of the William Gray clock is has the typical layout of a late C17th striking lantern clock. Inside the clock, the front, centre and rear movement bars each have a pair of integral round pins at their bases, fitting in to round holes in the bottom plate. They are fixed into the top plate with steel wedges. The dial and back plate are each secured behind steel pins through the top and bottom plates, whilst the doors pivot in holes in the top and bottom plates. The frets, cocks and potence are screwed to the top plate with square headed screws; usually of steel for the frets, and brass for the cocks.
The hammer spring is either a simple taper, with three horizontal lines engraved on the buttress at the root; or may have scalloped edges and a plain buttress. The hammer stop may be either a simple curve, with the tail split to form a fork; or a more conventional right angle with scalloped edges. The hammer has a plain straight shaft ending in a bevelled cuboid head. The strike levers are purely functional, without decoration; and are mounted on plain, square sectioned arbors.
The trains are mounted between the plain rectangular centre movement bar; and cross shaped front and back bars. The front and back movement bars have the traditional lugs, to support the strike and hammer arbors. A block, screwed to centre bar, supports the crown wheel via an adjustable grub screw.
The great wheels are mounted directly onto parallel arbors; whilst the remaining wheels are mounted on onto tapered arbors, with brass collets. With the exception of the flattened crown wheel collet, the collets heads are of approximately hemispherical form, with the collet shanks protruding a short distance through the rear of each wheel.