7 ins. (excluding handle)
An Extremely Rare, Highly Decorative Miniature, 8 Day Chinese Market, Musical Bracket Clock by Frederick Miller, London
The gilt brass break arch case topped by a folding handle, having hinged doors with beaded borders, the sides with exquisitely painted porcelain panels depicting a maiden laying flowers on a stone memorial to Shakespeare, each panel a lateral inversion of the other, the whole upon four ogee feet. The arched dial having a round white enamel centre with black Roman hour numerals, outer minute divisions, gilt ‘arrowhead’ hands and a border of alternatively coloured white and red pastes with a similarly decorated STRIKE/SILENT function in the arch and having a highly decorative floreate border on a dark crimson background. The three train 8 day triple fusee rear wound movement with tic tac escapement, counterbalanced brass pendulum and adjustable fly, sounding the hours and playing music on the quarters on a nest of eight bells, the plain backplate with a decorated border and signed, Fred.k Miller London.
On seeing this clock for the first time one is immediately impressed by its colourful decoration and diminutive size. Measuring a mere 7 inch (excluding handle), it is probably unique in English clockmaking, retaining the excellent classical proportions expected from a fine quality English bracket clock twice its size and yet containing a musical movement of such complexity that it plays not only hourly but also every quarter. The technical difficulties overcome to produce such a movement cannot be over emphasised.
The combination of gilt brass case, finely decorated panels and clear white dials with their sparkling borders produces a stunning effect which is further enhanced by the enchanting music. Clocks of this description were made specifically for the rapidly emerging Chinese market of the time. They were highly prized for their great beauty and appreciated for their technical merit, attributes which are synonymous with this particular example.
|Clock maker:||Frederick Miller, London|
|Height:||7 ins. (excluding handle)|