Blacksmith’s son Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) was London’s best clockmaker and, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his death, the British Museum is showing his finest work in Room 3: the Mostyn, a table clock that celebrates the joint coronation of William III and Mary II in 1689. Astonishingly, Tompion’s clock – which is so beautifully engineered it will run for at least a year on a single wind – still keeps excellent time. For this exhibition, the Mostyn is carefully set in its seventeenth-century context. The display includes explanations of the complex symbolism of the decorations, which a statuette of Britannia, a lion, unicorn and more national iconography.
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