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The Hague Tompion, No.258. Circa 1695

The Hague Tompion, No.258. Circa 1695

A very fine William III Phase 2 ebony and gilt-brass mounted striking verge table clock with pull-quarter repeat, the first of the mid-size series, by Thomas Tompion, London

£350,000


Stock No.

Exhibit No.25

Height

11¾ inches (298 mm)

Case

The well-proportioned mid-sized Phase 2 case with ebony veneers onto an oak carcass. The original ‘out-size’ thistle-bud handle, surmounts a cushiondome top above typical Tompion architectural top mouldings. The front door has a fine ebony sound fret inset in the top rail and both door stiles have Tompion’s own gilt-brass foliate-drop escutcheons, the sides inset with matching sound frets above glazed apertures, the rear with an inset glazed door with a mitred half-round moulded outer frame. The front door sill is correctly punch-numbered 258, below the mask that is inset with a further pierced-wood fret, and the whole case is raised on conforming ebony mouldings and typical ebony block feet.

Dial

The 5½ by 6 inch (140 by 152 mm) gilt-brass dial has three latched dial feet, and is signed Thomas Tompion LONDINI Fecit within a palm frond cartouche by Graver 155, flanked by subsidiary silvered rings for strike/silent and pendulum regulation. The typical silvered-brass chapter ring has an internal quarter division ring inside the Roman hours with sword-hilt halfhour markers, the outer with Arabic minutes and cross half-quarter markers between, with delicate pierced blued steel hands. The finely matted centre has a D-ended mock pendulum aperture, the lower gilt-brass spandrels are early-pattern winged cherubs and single-screwed, the upper spandrels are matching half-versions.

Movement

The substantial mid-size movement held by seven latched finned baluster pillars with twin fusees and spring barrels; the going train with pivoted verge escapement and brass rod lenticular pendulum suspended from a cranked-brass regulation bar atop the plates, with pinion adjustment. The strike train governed by a rack-and-snail sounding the hours on the larger porkpie bell, the quarters struck on the smaller bell using Tompion’s own failsafe system, with single-cock and post interlocking blued steel levers, pulled from either side of the case. The backplate, by Graver 155, is signed in the lower centre Thomas Tompion LONDINI Fecit within an egg-and-dart framed oval cartouche and is profusely engraved with scrolling foliage and flower garlands, all within a scored line border, and punch-numbered 258 at the base. The movement is secured within the case by means of two steel bolts into the base pillars.

Hour strike with Tompion’s own pull-quarter repeat

Duration

8 days

Provenance

Private collection Holland, reputedly a marriage gift to the family in 1908, by descent until sold;
Glerum Auctioneers, The Hague, 18 December 1990, lot 2056, to an unknown purchaser;
Sotheby’s, Important Clocks, 11 Mar 2002, lot 180, sold for £205,556;
John C Taylor Collection, inventory no.85

Literature

Horological Masterworks, 2003, p.204-207;
Huygens’ Legacy, The Golden Age of the Pendulum Clock, 2004, p.238-239;
Opwindende Klokken, 2004;
Evans, Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns,2006, listed p.76;
Evans, Carter & Wright, Thomas Tompion 300 Years, 2013, p.344-345, listed p.602.
Garnier & Carter, The Golden Age of English Horology, 2015, ‘Tompion’s miniature and mid-sized series of domestic table clocks’, p.144-149

Escapement

Pivoted verge with spring suspended lenticular pendulum

As the first of a new model of mid-size table clocks, it is possible that no.258 was a special order, and from the evident scratch marks it appears to have been exported direct to Holland. There it apparently stayed for the intervening 300 years, passing in 1908 to the last Dutch owners as a rather generous wedding present, and only recently returning to England.

Contact us about this item

Product Description

As the first of a new model of mid-size table clocks, it is possible that no.258 was a special order, and from the evident scratch marks it appears to have been exported direct to Holland. There it apparently stayed for the intervening 300 years, passing in 1908 to the last Dutch owners as a rather generous wedding present, and only recently returning to England.

Additional information

Dimensions 5827373 cm