7ft 5½in inches
The Tompion-esque Type 3 figured and burr walnut case with the original four-sided ogee moulded dome top above a double frieze divided by an architectural cornice. The hood door with raised aperture moldings and flanked by integral ¾ columns with Tompion pattern gilt-brass Doric moulded capitals and plain Doric bases, the rear of the hood with conforming ¼ columns to the uprights, all supported by the concave veneered throat moulding. The long rectangular trunk door has fine figured and burr veneers with a deep cross-grain walnut edge molding, held by Tompion pattern hinges, the trunk sides crossbanded and divided into panels. The concave veneer main base molding has a matching raised burr-walnut panel, the whole case standing on a restored double skirted foot.
The 10¾ inch square gilt-brass dial is applied with mask, leaf and foliate spandrels to the corners, the finely matted centre with seconds dial below XII, calibrated to six divisions, shuttered winding holes and date aperture, signed above D Delander, No.5 on an oval reserve within the matting. The silvered brass chapter ring has Roman hours and Arabic minutes, with lozenge half-hour and half-quarters marks, the blued steel hands are well sculpted and shaped and the dial plate is held to the movement by four pinned dial feet.
The substantial plates have five ringed and knopped pillars, The going train has Delander’s own duplex escapement in fine original condition, with a small impulse wheel within the plates and large locking wheel mounted outside the backplate, the brass rod pendulum has a large lenticular bob with an engraved, graduated, rating nut. The original bolt and shutter maintaining power activated, in Tompion fashion, via a lever mounted through the edge of the dial, between II and III. The strike train, governed by a rack and snail, sounding the hours on the large bell mounted above.
Private collection U.K.
Garnier and Carter The Golden Age of English Horology, Square Press, 2015.
Daniel Delander No.5 circa 1710
A very important, burr walnut, striking 8-day longcase clock and the first in Delander’s numbered duplex series to retain its original escapement.
Daniel Delander was born in 1678 and apprenticed in 1692 to Charles Halsted, but later transferred to Thomas Tompion. He was freed in July 1699 but he continued his association with Tompion’s workshop, probably as a journeyman. Tompion died in 1713 and just before that, in 1712, Delander moved from Devereux Court to premises between the two Temple Gates in Fleet Street, he died in 1733.
The Duplex escapement
The principle of the duplex was invented in circa 1700 as a watch escapement by Robert Hooke. The watch version was improved by Jean Baptiste Dutertre and Pierre Le Roy and put in its final form by Thomas Tyrer, who patented it in 1782. While the original version had two wheels, the latter had a single escape wheel with two sets of teeth.
In Delander’s clock duplex, the pendulum only receives an impulse during one of the two swings in its cycle. The escape arbor has two wheels and sets of teeth, hence the name ‘duplex’ – two parts. The larger ‘locking wheel’ is mounted on the backplate with the smaller ‘impulse wheel’ conventionally set within the plates. The cycle starts with a locking wheel tooth resting against the rear pallet, as the pendulum swings through its arc, the rear pallet releases the locking wheel and, as the escape arbor turns, the front pallet is in just the right position to receive a push from the front impulse wheel. Then the rear pallet drops into the path of the next tooth on the rear locking wheel and stays there while the pendulum completes its swing and the process is repeated. All the duplex escapement clocks have their seconds dial calibrated in six, rather than the more usual five, second divisions and this is because the escape arbor moves in two-second intervals.
Delander’s Duplex Series
Daniel Delander adapted and applied the duplex escapement for use on a small number of special longcase clocks, he only numbered this important series of duplex clocks and the highest currently recorded is number 18, however only 10 are known to survive today. Of those survivors, 5 are of his earlier square dial design (as this clock, No.5) and 5 are of his later design, while 3 are known to have had their duplex escapement restored or removed and 2 others have not been studied in enough depth to be certain.
The duplex series was started during Tompion’s lifetime, initially Delander used square dials, bolt-and-shutter maintaining power and signature reserves within the matting, all similar in style to the work Delander was doing for Tompion at that time.
Delander No.1 is missing and dating the start of the series is difficult. However, as Delander continued to work for Tompion as a journeyman, there are various details from Tompion’s ouvre that could possibly be applied; in c.1700, Tompion started signing his longcases on an oval reserve within the matting but, after Edward Banger left the partnership in c.1708, Tompion introduced a pinned oval signature plaque, perhaps specifically to cover the Tompion & Banger signature on dial plates left in stock. In c.1709, Tompion introduced lozenge half-hour marks to his chapter rings.
The first recorded clock in the duplex series is no.2 and it bears fleur-de-lys half-hour marks. It seems unlikely that Delander introduced the lozenge marks prior to Tompion and, as all the following in the series use lozenges, it could be suggest that No.2 was produced prior to Tompion adopting lozenge marks in circa 1709, possibly dating the missing No.1 to c.1708?
The remaining early clocks, numbers 2, 4, 5, 6 and 11 all have square dials, retain the use of signatures on a reserve within the matting and they are all housed in Tompion-style type 3 walnut cases.
However for the later clocks, numbers 12, 13, 15, 17 and 18, Delander changed his design and introduced flat-top, shallow arched, dials with oval signatures on plates, combining this with a new design of walnut case with canted corners and it is likely that these were introduced sometime after moving premises ‘within the Temple Bar’ in c.1712 and almost certainly after Tompion’s died.
Delander No.5 is the most petite of the remaining early clocks within Delander’s duplex series, having a dial of only 10¾ inches square, as opposed to the four, which are 11¾ to 12 inches. It is interesting to note that Delander also went to the considerable expense of mercury-gilding this early square dial, a process almost unheard of by other makers at this date, and something that Delander himself dropped for the later clocks.
Delander No.5 is the earliest surviving in the series that retains its original, unaltered, duplex escapement and, with the later clocks in this series now commanding prices well in excess of £200,000, it also represents excellent value for money, particularly for such an important and horologically significant clock.