A Large & Unusual Timekeeper's Clock, "The Dey Time Register", by Howard Bros of London & Liverpool


Origin: Anglo-American
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900-10
Height: 33 inches
Width: 19.5 inches
Depth: 19 inches (with dial)
Outer Dial Diameter: 25.5 inches

The plinth shaped case with overhanging reeded cornice, mounted to the front by a large circular cast iron dial, centred with a rotating arm beneath a painted Roman dial with outside minute track and spade hands, and further subsidiary dial to the base, to a single fusee movement with shouldered plates, and anchor escapement and further large rotating and paper fitted drum barrel, with a bell within glazed doors.

Condition is good, both of the glazed side doors are in tact as are the glazed dials and the hands and oak structure is sound. The bell still sounds when the rotating arm is pressed inward into one of the orifices. There is one vertical oak panel from the reverse that is lacking and the key that locks the side glazed doors is missing. The oak case has good character and a deep patina, there are small areas of loss to the cornice. The movement would need a full repair and overhaul if it were to be operative again, there is an ivorine plaque to the plinth base present stating “Overhauled by British Time Recorder Co Ltd, 148 Farringdon Road, London E.C.1” with the number of 5377.

The front dial is stamped “The Dey Time Register” to one side and “Howard Bros, Liverpool and London” to the other. Alexander Dey was one of his Majesty's inspectors of schools in Scotland and invented a clock with a large radial drum with the assistance of his brother John in the USA. Arriving on the market in 1892, this clock put the entries in the numerical order of the employee, not chronological order, and this reduced the work in abstracting an individual's timesheet. The brothers formed a partnership known as the Dey patents Co. and by 1901 the name had changed to the Dey Time Register Co.

This impressive Edwardian period timepiece could now be used as a wonderfully original side table, for the kitchen, living room, patio or summerhouse bringing an architectural and somewhat industrial feel, all in all making for a superb decorative effect.

Use your imagination, and this piece will sing.