A Piece of Tavern History


30th April 2021

Here is an opportunity to purchase a piece of tavern history from the 18th century.

From a Private Collector to be sold in the forthcoming specialist Clock auction on the 27th May 2021, is this fine example of a tavern 'Act of Parliament' clock by Drury of London, dated 1760 and standing just over five feet tall.

In very good restored condition it is estimated at £8000-12,000.

Tavern clocks such as this, with their large dials, were commonly installed in taverns, coaching inns and other publicly accessible places, giving travellers access to the right time or allowing them to set their watches. In 1797 William Pitt the Younger imposed a heavy tax on timekeepers and in response, it is said that tavern-keepers commissioned clocks like this one to accommodate public need. Tavern clocks are therefore often known as 'Act of Parliament' clocks. However, this type of clock existed from the 1720s and was popular throughout the 18th century. Public outcry forced Pitt to repeal his tax the following year, so the only real effect of the Act was to furnish a convenient name for a very popular type of clock.

From the same collection included in the auction will be these fine English bracket clocks. The full catalogue will be online from around the 11th May 2021 on the website.

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