12½ inches (318 mm)
The archetypal Phase III case has a cushion moulded dome top, with characteristic gilt-brass repoussé foliate mounts, surmounted by Knibb’s gilt-brass foliate-tied handle with plain turned pommels and plates, above the quintessential flat-topped upper main moulding. The top rail of the front door is inset with a pierced ebony sound fret with Knibb’s cherub and scroll escutcheons, the IX side key slotted, with glazed side apertures, all above the typical moulded base.
The 6½ inch (165 mm) square gilt-brass dial signed Joseph Knibb London beneath the skeletonised silvered chapter ring with fleur-de-lys half hour marks. The fine matting, with chamfered date aperture below XII, is centred by a rose engraved alarm disc which is set using the tail of the finely pierced and sculpted blued steel hour hand, with matching minute hand. The finely chased winged cherub spandrels are of Knibbs’ early Phase III design with an hour strike/silent, S/N, lever above left of XII. Fixed into the case with typical dial turns and to the movement with three latched dial feet.
The movement with latches to the six typical finned vase-shaped pillars, twin fusees and spring barrels with gut lines, knife-edge verge escapement with bob pendulum. The strike train powers both the hours and the ‘tingtang’ quarters, the alarm train is wound from the dial, between I and II, and its spring barrel is fixed to the inside of the frontplate engaging a crown wheel with the hammer mounted on a verge and sounding on the small bell. The backplate is symmetrically engraved with typical tulips and scrolling foliage and signed in an arc Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit.
Sotheby’s, 14 May 1987, lot 321; Christie’s, 5 July 2002, lot 89, sold for £117,000;
Horological Masterworks, 2003, p.180-183;
Knife-edge verge with short bob pendulum
Joseph Knibb, London. Circa 1682
A very fine Charles II ebony veneered Phase III two-train quarter striking verge table clock with alarm