James Cox

(c. 1723—1800) jeweller and entrepreneur

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(bc. 1723; d 1800). English jeweller, clockmaker, toymaker and maker of automata. In 1745 he established himself in Fleet Street a goldsmith, jeweller, and toyman; 1756 he entered into partnership with Edward Grace and moved to 103 Shoe Lane. The business went bankrupt in 1758, but when Cox was discharged from bankruptcy in 1763, he started a new business, manufacturing mechanical clocks for export to the Far East. Few examples of his products survive, but they include the Swan automaton (Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard), and (probably) the Peacock clock (Hermitage, St Petersburg). In 1772 he opened Cox's Museum in Spring Gardens, Charing Cross, in which he housed 22 of his large automata, ranging in height from 3 to 5 metres.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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