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Clockmaker/By : Fry & Baker of Melksham (Wiltshire).
Duration: 8 Day.
Circa : 1750.
Height : 82 inches.
Solid mahogany with flat top hood.
Turned brass capped pillars to hood with splats to rear of hood and movement observation windows in sides of hood.
Long trunk door with rising sun in arch of door matching the sun features on the calendar dial and the seconds dial.
Plinth to base.
Original trunk door lock.
Width at widest point 19" (hood).
11" x 15.5" brass arch dial with Father Time automata.
Large painted seconds dial with star burst and suns rays.
Large painted calendar dial with star burst and suns rays.
Makers' names 'Fry & Baker' engraved in dial centre.
Silvered chapter ring.
Matching steel hour and minute hands.
Fry and Baker are not listed as a clockmaking partnership but their individual details are set out below:
Sutton Benger and Melksham 1701 - 75
Born 18 July 1701 to Zephania and Jane Fry.
Apprenticed in London about 1715.
Married Mary Storrs of Chesterfield, Derbyshire in March 1726/7.
The Sutton Benger parish rate book records payments by John Fry from 1744 to 1755. John Fry was the Constable for Melksham in 1758.
Longcase clocks with square brass dials and date apertures have been recorded, signed: John Fry, Melksham. One signed John Fry, Sutton Benger has been recorded.
The Melksham parish register recorded the burials of John and Mary Fry: 1775 Aug 27 at Melksham John Fry, late of Sutton Benger age 74. 1775 Sep 20 at Melksham Mary Fry, late of Sutton Benger, widow of John Fry, age 71.
In the Bath Chronical he was described as an eminent preacher among the Quakers and was very deservedly and extensively lamented. He was the father of Joseph Storr Fry, the founder of JS Fry the chocolate manufacturer.
There are two Melksham clockmakers with the surname of Baker:
(1) John Although he is recorded as working circa 1780 he is known to case his clocks usually in mahogany or oak flat topped cases, as is this clock. When making clocks in his own name they were signed Jno Baker, Melksham or Jno Melksam.
(2) Thomas He was working in Melksham from 1756 until his death in 1766. The notice of his death mentioned that he had been in business for 10 years and that his shop was in a prime site geographically. The auction of his stock and household effects was held 7 February 1766. It is most likely that John Baker was Fry's partner when working in circa 1750 and his cabinet maker supplied the case.
Guarantee : 12 months.
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