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Exhibit № 17. William Knottesford, London, Circa 1670-75

Exhibit № 17. William Knottesford, London, Circa 1670-75

A very fine Charles II architectural, olivewood veneered and gilt-brass mounted, striking spring clock with rare subsidiary seconds

£95,000


Height

20 inches (508 mm)

Case

The oak carcass veneered in olivewood with contrasting ebony mouldings, the ‘bible-box’ top containing a key drawer to the right side, above the prominently overhanging cornice over a frieze supported on mirrored ebony Solomonic columns with three-part assembled gilt-brass Corinthian capitals and plain bases, the glazed sides with matching quarter columns to the rear upright case extensions.

Dial

The 9½ inch square fire-gilt brass dial with four latched dial feet, the slender silvered chapter ring flanked by gilt cherub head spandrels and signed along the base Will. Knottesford, Londini. The hands well-sculpted in blued steel and the finely matted centre with a rare subsidiary seconds ring and calendar aperture above VI.

Movement

The movement with bottle-shaped plates held by eight latched baluster pillars with twin gut fusees and spring barrels, the frontplate split for the two trains. The going train with knife-edge verge escapement and bolt-and-shutter maintaining power, activated via a curved lever extending beyond the plates. The strike train governed by an internal countwheel and striking the hours on a large bell mounted above, with a small turned lever to trip the hours. The plain backplate mounted with a turned pendulum holdfast on the left, III, side.

Duration

8 days

Provenance

R A Lee, 1958;
Christie’s King St., 14th June 2000, lot 73, sold for £60,281;
The John C Taylor Collection, inventory no.37

Literature

Cescinsky and Webster, English Domestic Clocks, 1914, p.260-1, fig.275;
Antiquarian Horology No.9 Vol.2, December 1958, front cover (illus.) & p.160;
H Alan Lloyd, Chats on Old Clocks, 1952, (illus.) pl.12;
Dawson, Drover & Parkes, Early English Clocks, 1982, p.180-1, pl.242-4 & p.341-2, pl.492-3;
Huygens’ Legacy, 2004, (illus.) p.134-137;
Garnier and Hollis, Innovation & Collaboration, 2018, (illus.) p.258

Escapement

Knife-edge verge with short bob pendulum

Strike Type

Internal hour countwheel mounted direct on the greatwheel

Exhibited

1952, Science Museum, British Clockmakers’ Heritage Exhibition, exhibit no.89;
2004, Holland, Paleis Het Loo, Huygens’ Legacy, exhibit no.48

William Knottesford was apprenticed in January 1656/7 to Henry Child (through Johannes Bayes) and was freed in March 1663/4, serving as Assistant in 1676, Warden from 1681 and Master in 1693.

This early spring clock has a rare subsidiary seconds hand, the dial is well proportioned with the seconds ring placed midway between the hand centre and the chapter ring, whereas in the weight-driven long pendulum clocks of this period it is normally placed higher and touching the chapter ring.

The lower placing of this seconds dial is necessitated by the fact that an additional wheel and pinion is required to provide for the seconds arbor to turn in a clockwise direction, thus making the contrate wheel the fourth wheel. As seen here, this arrangement also results in the pendulum correctly swinging short of the full depth of the plates.

The case and movement display features associated with established makers of this early period, such as John Fromanteel, Samuel Knibb, Joseph Knibb and Thomas Harris, as well as Thomas Tompion’s first recorded spring clock, the Olivewood Tic-Tac Tompion, c.1673-5, also in this collection, inventory no.19.

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Product Description

William Knottesford was apprenticed in January 1656/7 to Henry Child (through Johannes Bayes) and was freed in March 1663/4, serving as Assistant in 1676, Warden from 1681 and Master in 1693.

This early spring clock has a rare subsidiary seconds hand, the dial is well proportioned with the seconds ring placed midway between the hand centre and the chapter ring, whereas in the weight-driven long pendulum clocks of this period it is normally placed higher and touching the chapter ring.

The lower placing of this seconds dial is necessitated by the fact that an additional wheel and pinion is required to provide for the seconds arbor to turn in a clockwise direction, thus making the contrate wheel the fourth wheel. As seen here, this arrangement also results in the pendulum correctly swinging short of the full depth of the plates.

The case and movement display features associated with established makers of this early period, such as John Fromanteel, Samuel Knibb, Joseph Knibb and Thomas Harris, as well as Thomas Tompion’s first recorded spring clock, the Olivewood Tic-Tac Tompion, c.1673-5, also in this collection, inventory no.19.

Additional information

Dimensions 5827373 cm