The ebony veneered case is surmounted by a foliate tied handle with turned base plates above the cushion moulded top with fine quality chased foliate fire-gilded mounts to the sides and front, flanked by four gilt-metal foliate urn finials.. The front door with typical gilt winged cherub head escutcheons; the left escutcheon swivelling to reveal the lock. The top rail inset with a pierced ebony sound fret.
7 inch square fire-gilt brass dial, signed Joseph Knibb London along the lower edge. The very fine matting is applied with a pierced skeletonised silvered chapter ring with small teardrop half hour marks, Roman hours and individual Arabic minutes, with four gilt winged cherub spandrels to the corners. The typical blued steel hands beautifully shaped and sculpted. The back of the dialplate with three latched feet and two turnscrews to secure movement into the case.
The triple fusee movement with ten, latched, baluster pillars, the front plate split for each train, the going train with knife-edge verge escapement and bob pendulum. The hour and quarter strike trains governed by two countwheels, linked by a trip lever and all mounted on the backplate The hours are struck on the largest bell, while the quarters strike on the nest of three smaller bells. The backplate is symmetrically engraved with tulips and scrolling foliage, with a blank left out for the large hour countwheel, and signed in the centre Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit in a downward arc.
A. Woodburn, 1996.
R.A. Lee, The Knibb Family Clockmakers, 1964.
Joseph Knibb, London Circa 1685
A very fine and rare Charles II ebony double-six hour grande-sonnerie striking phase III table clock.
In The Knibb Family Clockmakers, 1964, p.112, R. A. Lee writes; Of all makers Joseph [Knibb] was by far the most daring when it came to methods of striking the hours and subdivisions of the hour. His double-six hour striking system, found in this clock, epitomises Joseph Knibb’s experimentation with the most complicated of strike work.
Double-six hour striking was used specifically to save on power in the strike train. The first six hours are struck normally, but the strike reverts to 1 blow at VII o’clock, through to 6 blows at XII o’clock. Thus, the double-six method uses only 42 blows on the hour bell in a twelve-hour period, as opposed to 78 on a normal clock. For grande-sonnerie striking this increases fourfold to 168 strikes, compared with 312 for standard hour strike.