Lot 232

Brockbank & Atkins two day boxed marine chronometer


Brockbank & Atkins two day boxed marine chronometer. No. 2448. The round 103 mm silver dial with blued steel hour and minute hands, subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o'clock, Roman numerals, outer one minute track and up/down power reserve indicator dial at 12 o'clock, all set within a gimbal-mounted brass bowl in a three-tier mahogany box with glass viewing window, brass flush carry handles, ivorine signature plaque signed, numbered and engraved with the military broad arrow. Winding key present. The mahogany box is reinforced with quadrant pieces along the inside lower left and right edges, an Admiralty requirement from the late nineteenth century. The dust shutter on the bowl of the chronometer is engraved with the Hydrographic Office type reference H.S.1 for 'Hydrographic Supply 1' where '1' refers to the full marine chronometer specification, and the military broad arrow.

A search of the International Chronometer Index held by the National Maritime Museum, London indicates that this chronometer was first issued to the Admiralty base at Malta in 1917 and then later to the base at Bermuda in 1926. It saw service with HMS Adamant sometime in the 1920s/30s. HMS Adamant supported the submarines of the Second Submarine Flotilla in the Mediterranean during this time.

It was then issued to the base at Freetown in 1940 and used by the Ministry of War, Transport, in New York in 1944. One ship is mentioned, HMS Illustrious (Aircraft Carrier), to which the instrument was issued in 1950 and 1953. HMS Illustrious saw service with the Mediterranean Fleet during the 1940s during which her aircraft sank an Italian battleship and badly damaged two others during the Battle of Taranto. After being damaged herself and then serving in the East, as part of the Allied Invasion of Italy in 1943 and during the early stages of the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, she was modified for use as the Home Fleet's trials and training carrier. In this role she conducted the deck-landing trials for most of the British postwar naval aircraft in the early 1950s. She was occasionally used to ferry troops and aircraft to and from foreign deployments as well as participating in exercises. In 1951, she helped to transport troops to quell rioting in Cyprus after the collapse of the Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936.

Auction Date: December 2019


£800 - £1200

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