The firm of Charles Frodsham & Company, chronometer, clock and watch makers, was established in about1834 by Charles Frodsham, born 1810, at premises in Finsbury. By 1854, Charles was keeper of her majesty’s clocks at the royal palaces. The royal warrant continued for 125 years, and Frodshams were responsible for maintaining the royal timepieces - he was the last independent clock maker to have his own workshop at Buckingham Palace, and his royal connections guaranteed him aristocratic customers. At the 1855 Universal Exhibition in Paris, Charles Frodsham was awarded the gold medal for his chronometers and watches. When Frodsham died in 1871, his son took over the business. It became a subsidiary of Devon Instruments in 1977, and still operates from a single shop in London, although it no longer manufactures.
In his heyday between the mid-19th century and his death in 1871, Frodsham was one of the most respected clockmakers in the country, and his work commanded high prices. The firm not only supplied clocks to private clients, but also held several commissions to supply chronometers to the admiralty. Wall and carriage clocks and pocket watches from this period are especially sought after, as are barometers and marine chronographs.
Charles Frodsham clocks and watches remain very collectable, as the company had a reputation for extremely high quality. Value varies, with condition, complexity and rarity being driving factors when determining cost. A proven association with a known figure, such as the Morgan family of bankers who were avid contemporary collectors of Frodsham’s work, will enhance the value, as will the original case or box.
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