Falling Ball Clock

Help Us Get Our Clock Ticking!

£2,000 still needed to bring our 17th-century Falling Ball Clock back to life.

The clock is in urgent need of repair to conserve the materials of which it is constructed, and to ensure the mechanical operation of the clock movement. We have raised £6,000, but still need £2,000 for its conservation so that it can once again go on public display in the Society’s Library at Burlington House.

Make a donation today! Gifts of any amount are welcome!

Donate* via Text/SMS: Text ‘TSAL005’ to ‘70970 to give £5

*Your donation is to the National Funding Scheme and indicates a specific cause. For Terms & Conditions, see www.don8.to.

Donate via our website: On the donation page, under 'Gift Designation', please select 'Special Allocation' and then enter 'Falling Ball Clock' in the text field that appears.


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More Information About the Falling Ball Clock


Falling Ball Clock 2


The clock is a unique example of a Falling Ball Clock. It is a terrestrial globe made of silver gilt with geographical outlines based on world maps, and is driven by its own weight. It is an elaborate and highly interesting timepiece, and although there are several examples of this type of clock in the collections of the British Museum, none are of this size or complexity. The clock is usually displayed within a 19th-century mahogany four-pillar stand with mirrored based to show the lower dial engraved ‘Vulliamy’. 

Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy (1780–1854) donated the clock to the Society in June 1850. He was known for ingenious alterations of historic clocks, and had carried out modifications to the Society’s clock prior to its donation, which included replacing the top and bottom portions of the globe with plain metal featuring no engraving, along with a new dial and hand. The Vulliamy family of clockmakers were highly important makers and are considered amongst the leading manufacturers and innovators in horology.