Ralph Gout of London watches and clocks

Ralph Gout is recorded as active in central London between 1770-1836 (official listing) and his business and workshops were located at 6 Norman Court, in Old Street. He produced many watches and clocks for the Spanish, Indian markets and the Ottoman world and was also an inventor patenting a pedometer and other devices for measuring paces of man or horse in 1796 and revolutions of a carriage wheel in 1799.

The Huguenot origin Gout family also lived in the Levant lived principally in Smyrna from around 1770 till around 1950 (in Surname, there are plenty of Levantines in Izmir today with a degree of Gout blood). One of John Ralph Gout’s sons (John Albert Abraham Gout, born around 1740) and is the one who went to the Levant to trade, and so it is likely the father dropped his first name to distinguish himself from his namesake father. What is possible is John Gout was able to direct Ralph to produce time pieces for the elite of the Ottoman world with which he probably also had some dealings with as carpets were also a luxury commodity there and in the West. Many Gout descendants own Ralph Gout time pieces either from earlier generations or as personally built collections, celebrating this distant family link. This gallery is intended both to highlight their beauty and elicit responses from researchers or descendants with additional information revealing this early development of high-status trade with the Levant.

Trade card of Ralph Gout.

An unusual silver pedometer and verge pocket watch. Signed Ralph Gout, No. 70, by the King’s patent, London, 1789. The frosted gilt chain fusee movement with pierced and engraved cock with diamond endstone, verge escapement, under hinged silver cuvette, the white enamel dial with eccentric Roman chapter ring, Arabic quarter-hour marks, two subsidiary dials recording 10s and 100s of paces, the outer rim marked 1-100 is for 1000s of paces, with sweep centre hand, in plain outer case with hinged silver actuator for the pedometer, surmounted with crest of the Prince of Wales inscribed Patent Ich Dien 52 mm. diam.

Very large and heavy key-wind watch with brass movement and verge escapement. Engraved on reverse, "Ralph Gout, London, 884." White enamel dial reads, "Ralph Gout, London" and has hours and minutes marked in Turkish numerals. Watch is housed in silver pair case. Hinged front cover of inner case is open-faced with glass crystal (now missing). Back of case is engraved inside with four hallmarks, including initials "WB." Front cover of outer case is open-faced with engraved pattern around edge and back of case has same hallmarks as inner case. This was made in 1770 so right from the start of his career he appears to have had a market in the Ottoman world.

A silver verge pocket watch for the Turkish market with four cases, made 1848. The frosted gilt chain fusee verge movement with pierced and engraved cock and foot, decorative pillars, the white enamel dial with Turkish numerals, blued steel beetle and poker hands, in (later) plain silver inner case, within a silver intermediary case, silver tortoiseshell outer case with silver pin work, in Turkish silver travelling case, 60mm diameter

A fine brass and tortoiseshell triple case Turkish market pocket watch. Movement signed, pierced and engraved balance cock, enamel dial with Turkish numerals and signed Ralph Gout London, 1st and 2nd brass case with stamped, 3rd case set with tortoiseshell and gold pin work, watch. 6 cm diam.

Triple Case Ottoman verge fusee pocket watch, the outer case is made of tortoise shell, measures across: 75mm diameter (big silver cover); weight 241 grams (total).

A silver triple case verge fusee oversize pocket watch & matching silver Tughra chain fob. Ralph Gout was the official watch supplier to the Ottoman Sultan’s Court and produced only top quality time pieces for the Palace and the Ottoman nobility. This watch belonged to Mustafa Ali Hamis Pasha who was the governor of the Bulgarian town of Trjavna. With a matching hand embroidery silver-lace silk purse. The watch is oversized at 75mm in diameter.

A silver & enamel verge fusee watch by Ralph Gout clearly made for the Ottoman market.

A circular mahogany musical table clock, in a case of neoclassical design, dated 1775.

A lantern clock with brass bell straps supporting a large bell above an 8" brass arched dial with gilt spandrels and silvered engraved dial enclosing a matted centre with signed cartouche in the arch fronting a weight driven posted framed movement with verge escapement and brass side doors the back having hook and spike fixing 36cm high with lead weights.

A brass lantern clock for the Turkish market. The arched dial plate with foliate spandrels to silvered Turkish dial, matted centre, steel hands, signed on a disc to the arch Ralph Gout, London, No 254, the short duration movement with pierced and engraved frets to the bell stand, verge escapement and countwheel strike on a bell; pendulum, one large weight 21.5 cm. high.

Gout family of the Levant tree