EN Welch “Briggs Rotary Unknown No. 3”, ca. 1875. John C. Briggs patented this clock in 1855 but was not known to commercially produce it. Patent rights were acquired by GW Brown, who manufactured these clocks around 1863, and later sold out to the Bristol Brass & Clock Co.; Welch manufactured these clocks after 1868 (Chris Bailey, The Briggs Rotary Clock, in Ly, Welch Clocks, Second Edition, page 68). Model 3, the one shown here, was manufactured around 1875, and is the most common. The 30-hour movement sits flat on the wooden base and a vertical post with a wire attached rotates continuously; the silver ball suspended from the overhanging arm engages the wire and regulates its speed of rotation. A vertical gear behind the dial turns the gears that move the hands. The dial is always paper, badly worn here with loss of most of the numbering. The hands are correct. The back of the dial has a wallpaper pattern. The wood base sits on three cast iron feet and there is a built-in 6-spoked wheel on the bottom of the base that winds the clock. These clocks were reproduced by Horolovar in the 1970’s and are clearly marked as such; reproductions made in China in the 1980’s are more difficult to identify. This clock is running strongly. These clocks are not uncommon and typically sell between $200 and $300. $150-$250.
Antique American Clocks January 2023