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William Frodsham (1728-1807)

Biography of clockmaker William Frodsham (1728-1807)

William Frodsham (1728-1807) was born in 1728 and became the founder of the famous family firm of clockmakers William Frodsham & Son.

Frodsham was made an honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1781 before opening his own retail shop at 12 Kingsgate Street, Red Lion Square, London.

Frodsham was an important maker who may well have acted as a journeyman to Justin Vuilliamy and was taught the art of watch jewelling by his friend, the great chronometer maker Thomas Earnshaw. This caused a problem for Frodsham when he was asked by the Board of Longitude to give evidence in 1804 regarding a reward for Earnshaw following the latter's claim to have improved the detached escapement.

William Frodsham died in November 1807 having outlived his son, the clockmaker William Frodsham (1755-1805) the younger, by 18 months. It was this son, born in 1755, with whom William the elder worked in partnership from circa 1779, the firm being known from this date as William Frodsham & Son.

The firm was continued as Frodsham & Sons by his grandson John Frodsham (1781-1849).

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William Frodsham (1728-1807) Related Lots

Lot FS13/506

Lot FS13/506: William Frodsham, Red Lion Square, London, A Georgian Walnut Bell-top Bracket Clock

William Frodsham, Red Lion Square, London, a Georgian walnut bell-top bracket clock, the eight-day duration five-pillar movement with verge escapement striking the hours on a bell, the backplate engraved with Oriental decoration, the seven-inch arched brass dial having a raised chapter ring engraved with black Roman numerals with the matted dial centre having a date aperture and shaped cartouche below XII o'clock engraved with the maker's name 'William Frodsham, Red Lion Sq, London', with cast c-scroll spandrels to the four corners and decorative blued steel hands, with a 'strike/silent' dial to the arch, the mahogany bell-top case with curved canted corners, brass fishscale frets to the sides and front and a brass carrying handle to the top, height: 45cm (handle down).

Estimate: £7,000 - £9,000
Realised: £7,300