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Thomas Ashwin (1758-1791)

Biography of English dial maker Thomas Ashwin (1758-1791)

Thomas Ashwin (1758-1791) was born circa 1758 and married to Mary in 1774.

Aswin was a dial maker working in Birmingham from 1777 when he is recorded as a japanner of all sorts of wares at 5 Paradise Street.

He traded as Ashwin & Co from 1787 until his death in 1791. It was in this year that a mob gathered outside a hotel to protest at a meeting taking place within, which was celebrating the first anniversary of the French Revolution. Ashwin was recruited as a special constable whereupon he was hit on the head by a rock and died of his injuries.

His wife continued the business alongside their fourteen year old son, but within a year they had formed a partnership with another dial maker, Thomas Byrne, who may well have also formed a personal relationship with Mary.

In her book The Art of the Painted Clock Dial, Mary Tennant notes that only a few Ashwin dials are known - all of high quality, and that it is likely that Byrne continued to use the remaining stock of Ashwin falseplates on his own dials making it sometimes difficult to tell if a dial is an Ashwin or a Byrne, especially as they are of very similar styles.

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Thomas Ashwin (1758-1791) Related Lots

Lot FS28/747

Lot FS28/747: William Thompson, Wolverhampton, A Mahogany Longcase Clock

William Thompson, Wolverhampton, a mahogany longcase clock the eight-day duration movement, striking the hours on a bell, the thirteen-inch painted break-arch dial having black Roman numerals, Arabic outer five-minute numerals, raised gilt-work decoration on a blue ground to the four corners, a subsidiary seconds dial and date aperture to the dial centre and signed Wm. Thompson, W: Hampton, the arch having a depiction of Britannia within an oval and further raised gilt decoration, with decorative blued steel hands, the rear of the dial embossed with the dialmaker's name Ashwin & Co, the mahogany case having a swan neck pediment with giltwood ball and spire finials, the hood with full fluted columns with cast-brass capitals, with fluted quarter-columns to the trunk with cast-brass capitals, with a shaped top to the trunk door and a raised shaped panel to the base with fluted canted corners, height 223cm (not includes finial).

Estimate: £500 - £700
Realised: £450