First Edition, Complete with Nine Folding Plates
MUDGE, Thomas. Description, With Plates, of the Time-Keeper. Invented By The Late Mr. Thomas Mudge. To Which Is Prefixed A Narrative, By Thomas Mudge, His Son, Of Measures Taken To Give Effect To The Invention Since The Reward Bestowed Upon It By The House Of Commons In The Year 1793; A Republication Of A Tract By The Late Mr. Mudge On The Improvement Of Time-Keepers; And A Series Of Letters Written By Him To His Excellency Count Bruhl, Between The Years 1773 And 1787. London: Printed for the Author , 1799.
First edition. Quarto (10 5/8 x 8 1/2 inches; 270 x 215 mm). [12], cli, [1, blank], 176 pp. Complete with frontispiece portrait of Mudge and nine folding plates at the end of the text. Portrait with tissue guard. With list of subscribers and an errata.

Early nineteenth century quarter calf over marbled boards. Red morocco spine label. Newer endpapers. Endpapers with two small bookseller stickers. Some dampstaining to portrait leaf, mainly noticeable on blank recto of the leaf. Some toning and offsetting to tissue guard and title-page. Some minor toning and foxing to text block. Fore-edge of final leaf a bit frayed. Folding plates with some minor offsetting. Overall a very good copy.

"Thomas Mudge, [is] considered England’s greatest watchmaker, who was the inventor of the lever escapement, the most dependable and widely used device for regulating the movement of the spring-driven watch...The quality of Mudge’s work brought him commissions from Ferdinand VI of Spain, the engineer John Smeaton, and other influential persons throughout Europe. " (Brittanica)

This book written by Mudge's son, Thomas Mudge, Jr. focuses on the history and development of horology in England, and includes a description of Mudge's most important invention, the lever escapement. "By the end of the century the detached-lever escapement was used in one form or another in practically all mechanical watches and portable clocks. If a watch is to be a good timekeeper the balance must be free to swing with as little interference as possible from the escapement. In this respect the cylinder escapement is an improvement on the verge, although it still exerts a frictional force on the balance. The lever escapement is a further improvement because it detaches itself from the balance after delivering the impulse which keeps it oscillating." (Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology. Edited by Lance Day, Ian McNeil).

HBS # 67967 $3,500