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Luke Honey | Decorative Antiques, Chess, Backgammon & Games

fattorini-chess-timing-clock-1890-s-1904

June 13, 2016

Chess clocks were reputedly invented by Thomas Bright Wilson of Manchester, around 1880, and the London chess tournament of 1883 was the first to use the double-faced mechanical tumbling clock.

Fattorini’s first version was in the form of two rectanglular carriage clocks; this clock is there second version, introduced at some point in the 1890s’. This design continued to be advertised in the British Chess Magazine until about 1904, when it was superseded by a revised design with a smaller clock face and differently designed metalwork.

Fattorini & Sons was a jewellery business established by a family of Italian immigrants who arrived in the British city of Leeds, in Yorkshire, England in the early 19th century. Antonio Fattorini opened a shop in Harrogate to take advantage of seasonal trade in Harrogate in 1831, this business is today owned and run by descendants of the founders. In the 1850s he opened a shop in Bradford with two of his sons. 

This genuinely rare clock is being sold with an original copy of the British Chess Magazine from the summer of 1897, featuring an advertisement for Fattorini’s chess clocks.