Thursday, 19 February 2015


                                         Mystery Object.

This is only  really a 'mystery object' in that the above two photos are of an important part of the mystery object. The details of the engraving, though, should be enough to give some of my readers a pretty good idea of when and where the object was made. I think most of you will spot at once the purpose of the object. Give it a try anyway.

Spent this morning showing a prospective buyer my stock of antique weaponry. I usually have a pretty good idea if any business will result; but this morning's customer gave me no idea whether he will or won't. We'll see.
This afternoon we took a clock movement,  which I'd repaired,  back to friends of ours in Lavenham. After I'd reinstalled the movement (a Suffolk made long case clock) into its case, set it in beat and started it, they told me that a lantern clock (another old friend of mine) had developed a fault. This time did 'kitchen table surgery' on the clock. We then had coffee and home made flapjack with them for a while, to see that both clocks were running (which they were). Then looked at (and advised on) a 'Grande Sonnerie' Carriage clock, and an Edwardian bracket clock. Got home just after five. Being called up to supper now, so - Goodnight All.


Crowbard said...

It is a device for holding iron pyrites against a grooved and notched wheel, Mike. I'd guess Austrian but possibly Northern Italy. Sticking my neck out a bit but would suggest 1502 as a likely date. (Or somewhere between 1495 and 1520). What a superb piece of work.

Mike and Ann said...

Well done, Crowbard. So far, you're about eighty per cent right. If you could bear in mind that the very earliest wheel locks were being built around the date you mention, and that this one is a highly sophisticated piece of advanced technology for the time it was made, you'll get a bit nearer the correct date. It is, as you say, a superb piece of work, beautifully made and highly decorated.

Crowbard said...

Must confess I was thinking of the period of Leonardo's sketches for the mechanisms. He was born April 15, 1452, Vinci, Italy & died May 2, 1519, Amboise, France. In view of your hints I've trawled through the V & A collection which shows similar items dating 1700-1725. I'm fairly happy with my guess at Austria (I guessed Italy mainly because of da Vinci's inputs in their development and the fine work of Lazarino Angelo Cominazzo)

Mike and Ann said...

For the final answers see next blog entry - 21st February.