A most rare and interesting clock by this famous clockmaker and inventor with his usual tapered clock plates and 3 wheel going train and with added interest of an automata.
John Walker was an inventor and clockmaker. He had trained in London under Archibald Gilchrist and set up business in Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1754.
In 1766 he advertised an invention which he spent 8 years perfecting. This was a wheel cutter that both cut and rounded the wheel teeth in one operation, achieving this he claimed, more accurately and more cheaply than hand finishing. A bitter local advertising feud ensued between Walker and David Patterson, whose clocks were hand finished.
Walker was thus able to make clocks with going trains with only three wheels instead of the usual 4 (and he notes that only 4 or 5 such clocks have been noted over the years). The clocks have tapered plates (to save brass) as they need less spread than conventional four-wheel clocks. Another feature of Walker’s unusual clocks is the strikework has a vertical worm driven fly.
The distinctive design of the movement precluded the inclusion of a seconds hand.
This particular clock of his has all the usual attributes with tapering plates, large worm wheel, distinctive calendar aperture and original hands. It also has an automata of a rocking ship. Both the clocks that are noted in the two books below are identical movements yet have a single sheet brass dial with arch and no automata.
He died in 1773.
He is noted within Brian Loome’s Clockmakers of Northern England and The Longcase Clock by Tom Robinson.