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Exhibit № 38. Daniel Quare (Tompion), London No.47, Circa 1708

Exhibit № 38. Daniel Quare (Tompion), London No.47, Circa 1708

An exceedingly rare Queen Anne miniature, red turtleshell and silver mounted, striking and pull-quarter repeating spring clock, together with its original conforming turtleshell wall bracket. Movement attributed to Thomas Tompion (1639-1713)


Height

19½ inches (493 mm) including the wall bracket

Case

The red turtleshell veneered dome top case surmounted by a Quare-pattern solid silver baluster handle, the front door with a typical laid-on silver breakarch moulding flanked by turtleshell pierced frets, the sides with D-ended top frets above further rectangular fretted apertures, all sitting on moulded silver block feet and supported on the original conforming wall-fixed bracket, with a red turtleshell veneered inverted bell shaped base, forward sliding to reveal a key compartment

Dial

The 4¾ by 6¼ inch (122 mm by 159 mm) gilt-brass breakarch dial, subsidiary rings for pendulum regulation and strike/silent, flanking a large central date ring in the arch, decorated between by Graver 195, with cornucopia and scrolls. The silvered chapter ring with Roman hours and sword-hilt half-hour marks, inside Arabic minutes and lozenge half-quarters. The typical blued-steel hands well-pierced and shaped. The D-ended mock pendulum in the finely matted centre and signed Dan Quare London in an oval reserve, the bottom corners with Quare’s own Indian-mask and foliate spandrels (masks the ‘right’ way up). The dial held to the movement by four pinned dial feet.

Movement

The small but substantial movement, of Tompion’s miniature pattern, with seven fully-latched baluster pillars, twin fusees and spring barrels; the going train with pivoted verge escapement and lenticular pendulum mounted to the pinion adjusted suspension bar above; the strike train governed by an internal rack and striking on the large bell, and pull-quarter repeating on Tompion’s fail-safe system on the smaller bell, via double-cocked interconnecting blued-steel levers. The backplate, attributed to Graver 195, decorated with elaborate scrolls and foliage, signed Dan Quare London in a cartouche incorporating an Indian-mask, and further engraved 47 below, all framed by a wheatear border.

Duration

8 Days

Provenance

By 1910 with J. W. Abbott Esq. and thence by descent to;
Mrs June Abbott, 1995 with the restorer William Galbraith and sold privately to;
John C Taylor Collection, inventory no.10

Literature

Britten’s, Old Clocks Watches &Their Makers, 3rd ed., 1911, (illus.) p.296 & 297;
Horological Masterworks, 2003, no.53, (illus.) p.238-241;
Evans, Carter & Wright, Thomas Tompion, 300 Years, 2013, (illus.) p.372-373;
Garnier & Carter, Golden Age of English Horology, 2015, ‘The Quare Tompion group of table clocks’, (illus.) p.286-295;
Garnier & Hollis, Innovation & Collaboration, 2018, (illus.) p378-9

Escapement

Pivoted verge with spring-suspended lenticular pendulum

Strike Type

Rack hour striking with Tompion’s twin-lever pull-quarter repeat

Exhibited

1970s-1980s, London, on loan to the Victoria & Albert museum;
2003, Oxford & Liverpool, Horological Masterworks, exhibit no.53;
2018, London, Innovation & Collaboration, exhibit no.117.

This clock is one of a small number whose movements were supplied to Quare with Tompion’s repeating system; of the eight now recorded, only Quare nos. 47 and 62 share enough similarities to Tompion’s standard batch movements to make an attribution; both are miniatures and exquisitely finished to a standard much higher than Quare’s normal production.

Historically, the introduction of the breakarch dial is often arbitrarily given as c.1710, however we know that Tompion applied a breakarch dial in c.1702-4, to The Spanish Tompion no.381. While that clock was a royal commission, full Grande Sonnerie striking and repeating, in a spectacular exclusive new design of case, it would certainly not have gone unnoticed in the competitive horological world of that time.

Until c.1704, Quare’s output was entirely square or rectangular dialled and his signatures were usually found on the chapter rings, or within dial decoration outside. Soon after the introduction of the breakarch dial, Quare embraced the design, arguably from as early as c.1704; Quare was Tompion’s main competitor by this time and, as the consummate businessman that we know he was, it is incongruous to think that he would have waited over five years to try it out himself. Quare first applied the breakarch to his pre-numbered table clocks and then for his numbered series; there are fewer than six recorded un-numbered breakarch table clocks and all continue to be signed on the chapter rings. Quare had an average production, not dissimilar to Tompion’s, of perhaps 11 to 13 table clocks per year (see The Golden Age of English Clockmaking, ‘Daniel Quare, Exchange Alley, London’, p.260-313)) and the paucity of un-numbered breakarch dial clocks, suggests that the introduction of Quare’s new dials and the start of his clock serial numbering were almost concurrent, with numbering probably starting within a year in c.1704/5. Henceforth, with just a few exceptions, all of Quare’s standard numbered clocks had breakarch dials. He had also introduced metal bezels to his breakarch table clock cases prior to starting the numbered series, but his signature reserves within the matting were not introduced on his spring clocks until Quare no.39 of c.1707, making it likely that no.47 was produced soon afterwards in c.1708.

Quare no.47 has an archetypal Tompion miniature pattern movement, repeating via double engaging levers on two cocks, which are the final, fully-developed, format introduced by Tompion in c.1698. It is the fifth of eight known Tompion-type striking or timepiece movements signed for Quare, all attributable to Tompion or one of his outworkers. As we know Tompion batch-made movements, it is highly unlikely that he would have disturbed his production process to make ‘one-offs’, but these restraints were not in place for his outworkers. Thus only two examples in the Quare/Tompion group are close enough to Tompion’s miniature movements to be directly attributable to him rather than an outworker, which are: this clock no.47, which has the only fully latched movement, drawing it closer still to Tompion’s modus operandi; and Quare no.62 that has one central latched pillar and the remaining pinned, but is otherwise also archetypal; as such these two examples were included in Thomas Tompion 300 Years, p.372-375. The movements of the remaining six clocks are sufficiently different in scope, size and manufacture, to be most likely made by one or more of Tompion’s outworkers. Jeremy Evans has suggested that the layout of the dial of the last in the group, Quare no.92, is so idiosyncratic and yet similar to a clock by James Tunn (appr. 1682 to Ambrose Gardner in the Goldsmiths’, but within Tompion’s workshop, died 1718), that he becomes our prime candidate as maker of that clock, and thus possibly at least two others in the group as well, with similar internal features.

Once the movement was supplied by Tompion, the finishing process on no.47 was all Quare; the breakarch dial is fixed with four pinned feet (rather than three latched as Tompion’s are); signed in Quare’s new oval central reserve in the matting; the Indian mask and foliate spandrels, with the masks the ‘right’ way up, appear unique to him; and a typical Quare date ring was set in the arch. Notably, the dial subsidiaries are surrounded by decoration by Graver 195, which is partly obscured by the upper spandrel segments, suggesting some confusion at the finishing stage, perhaps by someone new to Quare’s methodology; the backplate is also attributed to ‘Graver 195’ and has a wheatear border (atypical of Tompion at this date), while the number is engraved (rather than stamped) in a natural gap within the scrolling below the signature. The case is also all Quare; the baluster handle, moulded bezel and feet are all Quare’s own patterns, but here of solid silver, and combined with the turtleshell veneers on a red ground, this was one of the richest visual contrasts then achievable. That no.47 also still retains its own original wall bracket, places this clock into a very small and select grouping encompassing all the makers of this period, and taken with the other features it is a unique survivor.

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Product Description

This clock is one of a small number whose movements were supplied to Quare with Tompion’s repeating system; of the eight now recorded, only Quare nos. 47 and 62 share enough similarities to Tompion’s standard batch movements to make an attribution; both are miniatures and exquisitely finished to a standard much higher than Quare’s normal production.

Historically, the introduction of the breakarch dial is often arbitrarily given as c.1710, however we know that Tompion applied a breakarch dial in c.1702-4, to The Spanish Tompion no.381. While that clock was a royal commission, full Grande Sonnerie striking and repeating, in a spectacular exclusive new design of case, it would certainly not have gone unnoticed in the competitive horological world of that time.

Until c.1704, Quare’s output was entirely square or rectangular dialled and his signatures were usually found on the chapter rings, or within dial decoration outside. Soon after the introduction of the breakarch dial, Quare embraced the design, arguably from as early as c.1704; Quare was Tompion’s main competitor by this time and, as the consummate businessman that we know he was, it is incongruous to think that he would have waited over five years to try it out himself. Quare first applied the breakarch to his pre-numbered table clocks and then for his numbered series; there are fewer than six recorded un-numbered breakarch table clocks and all continue to be signed on the chapter rings. Quare had an average production, not dissimilar to Tompion’s, of perhaps 11 to 13 table clocks per year (see The Golden Age of English Clockmaking, ‘Daniel Quare, Exchange Alley, London’, p.260-313)) and the paucity of un-numbered breakarch dial clocks, suggests that the introduction of Quare’s new dials and the start of his clock serial numbering were almost concurrent, with numbering probably starting within a year in c.1704/5. Henceforth, with just a few exceptions, all of Quare’s standard numbered clocks had breakarch dials. He had also introduced metal bezels to his breakarch table clock cases prior to starting the numbered series, but his signature reserves within the matting were not introduced on his spring clocks until Quare no.39 of c.1707, making it likely that no.47 was produced soon afterwards in c.1708.

Quare no.47 has an archetypal Tompion miniature pattern movement, repeating via double engaging levers on two cocks, which are the final, fully-developed, format introduced by Tompion in c.1698. It is the fifth of eight known Tompion-type striking or timepiece movements signed for Quare, all attributable to Tompion or one of his outworkers. As we know Tompion batch-made movements, it is highly unlikely that he would have disturbed his production process to make ‘one-offs’, but these restraints were not in place for his outworkers. Thus only two examples in the Quare/Tompion group are close enough to Tompion’s miniature movements to be directly attributable to him rather than an outworker, which are: this clock no.47, which has the only fully latched movement, drawing it closer still to Tompion’s modus operandi; and Quare no.62 that has one central latched pillar and the remaining pinned, but is otherwise also archetypal; as such these two examples were included in Thomas Tompion 300 Years, p.372-375. The movements of the remaining six clocks are sufficiently different in scope, size and manufacture, to be most likely made by one or more of Tompion’s outworkers. Jeremy Evans has suggested that the layout of the dial of the last in the group, Quare no.92, is so idiosyncratic and yet similar to a clock by James Tunn (appr. 1682 to Ambrose Gardner in the Goldsmiths’, but within Tompion’s workshop, died 1718), that he becomes our prime candidate as maker of that clock, and thus possibly at least two others in the group as well, with similar internal features.

Once the movement was supplied by Tompion, the finishing process on no.47 was all Quare; the breakarch dial is fixed with four pinned feet (rather than three latched as Tompion’s are); signed in Quare’s new oval central reserve in the matting; the Indian mask and foliate spandrels, with the masks the ‘right’ way up, appear unique to him; and a typical Quare date ring was set in the arch. Notably, the dial subsidiaries are surrounded by decoration by Graver 195, which is partly obscured by the upper spandrel segments, suggesting some confusion at the finishing stage, perhaps by someone new to Quare’s methodology; the backplate is also attributed to ‘Graver 195’ and has a wheatear border (atypical of Tompion at this date), while the number is engraved (rather than stamped) in a natural gap within the scrolling below the signature. The case is also all Quare; the baluster handle, moulded bezel and feet are all Quare’s own patterns, but here of solid silver, and combined with the turtleshell veneers on a red ground, this was one of the richest visual contrasts then achievable. That no.47 also still retains its own original wall bracket, places this clock into a very small and select grouping encompassing all the makers of this period, and taken with the other features it is a unique survivor.

Additional information

Dimensions 5827373 cm