Nautical Instruments & Tools
Price = n/a
Ships Clock ex S. S. William Pearman
Another fine marine clock which we are listing today, made by the quality marine instrument maker James Morton Ltd of Sunderland. This company was established by James Morton who was born in 1856 and with the local shipbuilding business close by benefitted from their trade, supplying instruments, binnacles, telescopes and of course quality timepieces. This example is very heavily built and is designed for bulkhead mounting. What makes it particularly interesting it has a riveted plaque to the heavy brass bezel which reads 'S. S. William Pearman 1941-1961'.
We have been able to trace the vessel against nos 168275 and she was a single screw coaster collier of 1,552 tons, built at Burntisland Shipbuilding Company, founded in Scotland in 1918. The keel laid in 1941, she was launched in 1942 and owned by the British Electrical Authority, which subsequently became the CEGB in 1954. The LPC had its own fleet of coastal colliers to deliver coal to its power stations. Several were flatiron ships, built with low-profile superstructures and fold-down funnel and masts to pass under bridges upriver from Tower Bridge on the River Thames to reach Battersea. The William Pearman was one such vessel. The ships built for the LPC were each named after a person, several of whom were very prominent in the history of electrical engineering. The vessel was finally scrapped and broken up in Sunderland in 1961.
Our clock has an attractive rectangular bezel made from solid cast brass that gives it an essentially deco look and the glass is nicely bevelled. The silvered dial carries Roman numerals and is signed to the maker James Morton in two places. It carries the normal fast/slow adjuster and beside an elaborate 'F' and 'S' either side; the clock does not have a second hand. As mentioned it was clearly bulkhead mounted when fitted on board and whilst it can be displayed without a mount it would be possible to mount within an appropriate aperture or even a cut out in a stud partition wall. The bezel measures 8.5" x 6.75" and the clock is 3.5" deep (21 cm x 17.5 cm x 9 cm).It weighs a substantial 3.1 kilos and was clearly an expensive timepiece in its day. It is ticking away happily on our office wall but we have no idea when it was last serviced and it may be worth the new owner having the mechanism checked.
Whilst most ships clocks we get in have a story to tell these have been mainly lost down the years. We have no such issues knowing where and when this one was made and where it served! The original ships bell from the SS William Pearman was recently sold at auction and it would be great if our clock could be reunited with it and this could be arranged if the new owner would like to get in touch!