Balloon Clock

Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by key-wound clocks. I love the chiming and the beautiful woodwork. Each piece is a work of art and back 15 years ago, I purchased a balloon clock made by Comitti of London - who are still in business today.

A balloon clock is a bracket clock with a waisted or balloon-shaped case. They were made popular in England in the late 18th to the early 19th century. A bracket clock is a style of portable table clock. The term originated with small weight driven clocks (sometimes called 'true bracket clocks') that had to be mounted on a bracket on the wall to allow room for their hanging weights. When spring driven clocks were invented they continued to be made in the bracket style. Often they are composed of two matching pieces created as an ensemble: the clock and its small decorative shelf. They are almost always made of wood, sometimes of ebony, and often ornamented with ormolu \ˈȯr-mə-ˌlü\ mounts, brass inlay, wood or tortoise shell veneer, or decorative varnish. Since in their day clocks were expensive, and a household would not have one in every room, bracket clocks usually had handles to carry them from room to room.
These clocks were almost always repeaters, that is striking clocks which could be made to repeat the striking of the hours at the pull of a lever or cord. This feature was used before artificial illumination to tell what time it was at night. However, because they were often used in bedrooms where the hourly striking of the bell could disturb sleepers, they either had a knob to silence the hourly striking, or did not strike on the hour at all but only at the pull of the cord. These were called 'silent pull repeaters'. It is believed that balloon clock is derived from French styles that are usually of satinwood or mahogany with a convex or flat dial.

Comitti of London have been makers of the finest quality clocks and barometers for over 150 years. I have always wanted one of their barometers, they are instant classics to any home. Many of the styles made in the early days continue to be available today, they are recognised as English classics and sought after as valuable antiques.The company continues to this day as a family-run business designing and making traditional and contemporary pieces. They also offer a bespoke maintenance [custom made] and restoration service for all antique clocks and barometers.

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