Pullman Gallery

1:60 scale model of ‘Big Ben’, circa 1900

Price Code: SOLD

Reference: 6854

A superbly observed, large-scale model of The Clock Tower at London’s Place of Westminster (colloquially known as ‘Big Ben’, actually the nickname given to the Great Bell within the tower). Painstakingly constructed to approximately 1:60 scale around 1900 in the finest detail in oak and embellished with applied parcel-gilt mouldings, the model emulates precisely the details of the actual 96-metre-tall clock tower – the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. The model features three working clocks, with electrical movements by Smiths and are all illuminated from within, the fourth clock face is used for accessing the fully overhauled movement.

The numerals and hands are enamelled in ‘Prussian Blue’ as original to the Augustus Pugin (1812-1852) Gothic Revival design and is crowned with a framed spire. The oak plinth with gilded mouldings features a hand painted plaque bearing the crowned portcullis device of the Houses of Parliament. English, circa 1900.

Height overall: 70 inches (178 cm)

In popular visual media, The Clock Tower has become a globally recognized symbol of the United Kingdom and particularly London, and has been frequently used in establishing shots, often with a London bus, to denote a London setting. Renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Tower has long been the focus of New Year’s celebrations, and the chimes of ‘Big Ben‘ mark the commencement of two minutes silence on Remembrance Day. The main tower was designed by architect Charles Barry (1795-1860) after the old Palace of Westminster was destroyed by fire in 1834. Completed and operational in 1859, the clock within the tower is famous for its reliability and ran accurately throughout the Blitz in 1940.

In 2017, an extensive and complex £80m restoration of the clock and tower commenced, due to be completed in 2022, being the longest period in its history that Big Ben has been silent.

The restoration to the actual clock face will see the re-instatement of the original ‘Prussian Blue‘ hands and numerals.

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