At this week’s staff breakfast, curator Paul Buck presented the new Room 3 exhibition at the BM, entitled, Perfect timing: the Mostyn Tompion clock.
The clock was made to celebrate the coronation of William III and Mary II in 1689, by the great clock and watchmaker, Thomas Tompion, and is a magnificent example of his skill as a craftsman.
Religious persecution in 16th century Netherlands and France led to an exodus of Protestants, including many goldsmiths, silversmiths, engravers and watchmakers who established their trade in London. This provided an ideal environment for Tompion to flourish as a craftsman, and he went on to produce important scientific and technological instruments, as well as clocks and watches for monarchs, princes, the aristocracy and wealthy merchants.
It is now known as ‘the Mostyn Tompion’ after one if its former owners, Lord Mostyn, whose family owned the clock until it was purchased by the BM in 1982. The clock continues to keep good time, and runs for a whole year on a single wind. The display is timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of Tompion’s death in 1713.
For more information about the Mostyn Tompion clock, and the exhibition please follow the links below: