05-01-2010 05-01-2010
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Marlborough MA
May 1, 2010 10:00AMCalender

Pole Lathe from the Richard Oliver Casemaking Shop

Auction: Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 2502 Location: Marlborough Date / Time: May 01, 2010 10:00AM


Pole Lathe from the Richard Oliver Casemaking Shop, 25 Spencer Street, Clerkenwell, London, c. 1900 the pine bench with single leg and shoe foot supports an iron frame lathe powered by a foot treadle attached to a ceiling mounted pole, and dozens of specific made wooden chucks for holding watch case parts during manufacture.

Originally five pole lathes were used in the Oliver Shop in London. Three of the five benches are now in the Merseyside County Museum, while this example used by lead workman Fred Thoms, is offered here. Crom discusses this important watch case making shop in detail in Crom #2, pp. 394-406.
Estimate $600-800

These benches were built to be supported on the right side by the window sill of the Oliver shop. The right side of this bench is therefore merely an honest completion of the archectictural detail.


London, Fred Thoms, Merseyside County Museum, lead workman