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Exhibit № 16: Joseph Knibb, London. Circa 1675

Exhibit № 16: Joseph Knibb, London. Circa 1675

A fine and rare Charles II miniature walnut veneered striking hooded wall clock

£75,000


Height

11 inches (280 mm)

Case

The small rising hood veneered in walnut onto an oak carcass, with a shallow arch block-moulded cornice containing a lunette recessed walnut blind fret, the side apertures with pierced walnut sound frets. The supporting wall-hung bracket similarly constructed in oak, with a moulding to the edge of the seat-board, supported by well-carved decorative solid walnut corbels, with veneer to the front visible area between.

Dial

The 4¼ inch (107 mm) square brass  dial with outer inscribed line interupted along the base, and  signed Joseph Knibb, London with finely engraved tulip and stem corners. The silvered Roman chapter ring with fleur-de-lys half-hour marks outside the quarter division ring, and a sculpted blued steel hour hand. The centre further engraved with tulips and foliage issuing from an urn below, with a circular arcaded petal design to the centre.

Movement

The posted frame movement with four four miniature Knibb-pattern turned and finned pillars with his distinctive conical finials and ball feet to hold the top and bottom plates, the trains mounted on three internal vertical plates with rope and pulley drive; the front going train with knife-edge verge escapement and short bob pendulum; the rear strike train governed by countwheel secured to the rear vertical brass plate and striking on a 20th century bell above.

Duration

30 hour

Provenance

Anthony Woodburn, sold 2003 for £65,000;

The John C Taylor Collection, inventory no.113

Literature

Britten, Early Clocks and Watches and their Makers, 4th ed., 1919, p.218, fig.179;

Britten, Early Clocks and Watches and their Makers, 5th ed., 1922, p.491, fig.179;

Anthony Woodburn, Fine Antique Clocks, 2003-4, p 28;

Garnier & Hollis, Innovation & Collaboration, 2018, p.249.

Escapement

Knife-edge verge with short bob pendulum

Strike Type

Countwheel hour

Exhibited

2018, London, Innovation & Collaboration, exhibit n0.65

Small wooden cased 30-hour wall clocks were an alternative to the traditional lantern clock and are often thought of as having been located ‘below stairs’, however this rare example is early, miniature and housed in a very good walnut case with a finely carved bracket and so, despite being a one-handed and 30-hour, it would have cost a deal more than the alternative, an un-cased lantern clock, and as such it seems more likely this clock would have been on display in a more public area of a wealthy customer’s house.

This fine hooded wall case is of very similar form to other recorded examples by Joseph Knibb whilst still in Oxford, such as the two illustrated in Early English Clocks, p.489, pl.488-9, and the second of these was also illustrated in The Knibb Family Clockmakers, pl.58. The first is an ordinarily ‘free-standing’ miniature lantern clock that has been then housed, probably to order, in a walnut case of this type. The case and dial of the second Oxford example are both of very similar form to the present clock, however the all-over engraving and ‘vegetable’ spandrels are of a notably earlier style. Thus the engraving of this clock is more likely to have been executed after Joseph’s move to London, perhaps c.1675, but equally the similarities with the other two cited, suggests it could have been an Oxford workshop production supplied for sale in London, in the collaborative manner between the two brothers that is well documented.

RA Lee in The Knibb Family Clockmakers mentions that Knibb hooded wall clocks were not produced in any great quantity… not above ten, but since then a small number have re-emerged, perhaps taking that figure to between 12 or 14 examples. Included in that, the brothers also produced these wall clocks with vertical plated movements that are most often later in date, and a two-handed example signed John Knibb Oxon, produced some ten years afterwards is also in this collection, inventory no.49, with a conventional matted centre to the dial, but still with engraved spandrels. Overall, the present scarce clock is in a fine state of preservation, the only apparent restoration being the replacement bell.

 

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Product Description

Small wooden cased 30-hour wall clocks were an alternative to the traditional lantern clock and are often thought of as having been located ‘below stairs’, however this rare example is early, miniature and housed in a very good walnut case with a finely carved bracket and so, despite being a one-handed and 30-hour, it would have cost a deal more than the alternative, an un-cased lantern clock, and as such it seems more likely this clock would have been on display in a more public area of a wealthy customer’s house.

This fine hooded wall case is of very similar form to other recorded examples by Joseph Knibb whilst still in Oxford, such as the two illustrated in Early English Clocks, p.489, pl.488-9, and the second of these was also illustrated in The Knibb Family Clockmakers, pl.58. The first is an ordinarily ‘free-standing’ miniature lantern clock that has been then housed, probably to order, in a walnut case of this type. The case and dial of the second Oxford example are both of very similar form to the present clock, however the all-over engraving and ‘vegetable’ spandrels are of a notably earlier style. Thus the engraving of this clock is more likely to have been executed after Joseph’s move to London, perhaps c.1675, but equally the similarities with the other two cited, suggests it could have been an Oxford workshop production supplied for sale in London, in the collaborative manner between the two brothers that is well documented.

RA Lee in The Knibb Family Clockmakers mentions that Knibb hooded wall clocks were not produced in any great quantity… not above ten, but since then a small number have re-emerged, perhaps taking that figure to between 12 or 14 examples. Included in that, the brothers also produced these wall clocks with vertical plated movements that are most often later in date, and a two-handed example signed John Knibb Oxon, produced some ten years afterwards is also in this collection, inventory no.49, with a conventional matted centre to the dial, but still with engraved spandrels. Overall, the present scarce clock is in a fine state of preservation, the only apparent restoration being the replacement bell.

 

Additional information

Dimensions 5827373 cm