The case of Quare’s break-arch dial form with ebony mouldings and veneers, constructed on an oak carcass. The inverted bell top surmounted by a substantial knopped handle, above fine and crisp ebony cornice mouldings. The front door with scroll escutcheons, the break-arch dial aperture flanked by frets, all with delicate laid-on frame mouldings. The break-arch glazed sides framed by matching mouldings above a conforming base plinth and resting on brass block-moulded feet.
The line-border engraved 6½ by 9¼ inch break-arch brass dial with finely matted centre with wheatear-engraved mock pendulum aperture, and signed on a polished reserve Dan: Quare, Ste: Horseman, London 229. The arch with large central date ring, flanked by smaller subsidiary dials for rise-and-fall regulation, divided 5-40, and strike/silent, both with thumb-turn blued-steel hands. The main chapter ring with Roman hours and fleur-de-Lys half-hour markers, the Arabic minutes with lozenge half-quarter markers outside their division ring, indicated by pierced and well-shaped blued-steel hands, and all framed by typical cast and chased brass spandrels.
The substantial 5½ by 7½ inch plates are held by six knopped and finned pillars, with twin gut fusees and spring barrels. The going train with verge escapement and spring suspended lenticular pendulum, regulated through the dial. The strike train governed by a rack and snail and striking on the larger bell above, the pull-repeat sounding the quarters at will on the smaller bell, via a pulley on the backplate.
The superbly engraved backplate with foliate scrolls, strapwork and bell-flower husks, signed Dan: Quare, Ste: Horseman, London 229 in an oval cartouche, flanked by a pair of exquisitely executed standing Classical figures, below a central female mask with reflected Green Man masks in profile, all framed by a wheatear border. The rise-and-fall arm, backcock, repeat pulley, pump-spring, pendulum bob, holdfast block, and case brackets, all engraved to match.
Private collection UK, sold Christie’s, 1937;
Antiquorum, Geneva, 14 November 2004, lot 304, sold for CHF 73,600 (£66,000);
Private collection Switzerland, sold Bonhams, 30 November 2022, lot 101.
Garnier & Carter, The Golden Age of English Horology, 2015, p.263.
Connoisseur Magazine, November 1937, p.167;
Dzik, Engraving on English Table Clocks: Art on a Canvas of Brass, 1680-1800, 2019, cited in supplement, ref. Q2-16.
Height 18½ inches, width 10 inches, depth 7 inches.
Quare’s number sequence carried over into his partnership with Horseman in c.1717/8; the last known clock signed by him alone is no.162; while the first recorded from the partnership is no.165. The average annual production of numbered clocks was approximately 11 to 13, suggesting that no.229 was likely made in c.1723, a year or so prior to Daniel Quare’s death in March 1724.
Soon after the introduction of the breakarch dial in c.1702, Quare embraced the design, perhaps from as early as c.1704, first for his pre-numbered table clocks and then for his numbered series (Garnier & Carter, The Golden Age of English Horology, p.277).
No.229 is an archetypal example of Quare’s inverted bell-top design of table clock case. Quare started incorporating signature reserves on his table clock dials from c.1707 and was already using laid-on mouldings to the case apertures, initially in brass, and reserved to his more expensive output. By the time Stephen Horseman came into the partnership in c.1717/8, his ebony table clocks had matured to a fully evolved format, incorporating all these traits, and exemplified here.
The exquisite standard of backplate engraving on no.229 is almost unparalleled in Quare’s oeuvre. Similar engraving is found on Quare’s only recorded musical table clocks, that are a virtual pair produced concurrently in c.1719 with sequential numbers, 185 and 186 (The Golden Age of English Horology, 2015, p.263). As special orders, both were expensively finished, using architectural cases and employing the same supremely talented engraver to decorate them. However, while the engraving on those two backplates is outstanding, the remarkably fine detailing and extra cross-hatch shading seen here on no.299 is arguably of a higher-quality still, than that found on Quare’s two musical clocks.
Quare & Horseman no.229, circa 1723
A very fine George I ebony striking table clock with pull-quarter repeat