Height

6 foot 9 inches.

Case

Walnut veneered on an oak carcass, glazed rising hood with barley twist columns and a reinstated carved cherub crest. The slender trunk door with cross grain D moulding and book matched veneers leading to the cavetto / ovolo moulding above the book matched walnut veneered base and standing on reinstated bun feet.

Dial

The 10 inch square brass dial with original fire gilding is signed Thomas Tompion Londini Fecit at the base, interrupting the scored line border framing the dial. The narrow silvered chapter ring engraved with Roman hour numerals and Arabic five minute numerals in the outer minute track. The centre of the dial is finely matted with a rectangular calendar aperture above VI and a large narrow silvered seconds ring below XII. The seconds hand deftly emulates the minute hand with a fine S-curl near the boss. The finely chased winged cherub spandrels retaining the original gilding. The dial secured to the front plate by four latched feet. The beautiful early pierced and chamfered blued-steel hands have a Knibb-like appearance, as does the overall design of the dial especially showing in the narrow chapter ring and seconds ring.

Movement

With tall brass plates and six ring-turned pillars, riveted to the backplate in the normal manner and secured by latches at the front. The going train, escape wheel and anchor are early 18th century replacements, given the style and design most likely by George Graham, as is the backcock which is typical of Tompion’s later clocks and continued by Graham, but the crutchpiece may well be original. The strike train has an inside countwheel, striking the hours on a single bell. The pendulum has a slim brass-faced bob with a butterfly rating nut and a brass rod.

Duration

8 days.

Provenance

The Property of a Gentleman; Christie’s, London, 8 July, 1971, lot 10, sold for 8,000 Gns;

The Property of a Gentleman; Christie’s, London, 5 July, 2002, lot 92, sold for £122,000;

The Richard Thompson Collection.

Literature

Evans, Carter & Wright, Thomas Tompion 300 Years, 2013, p. 450.

Notes

This early and beautifully presented clock is relatively untouched and retains a glorious patina to both dial, case and movement. The slightly later Tompion/Graham pallets and escape wheel are important historical additions informing us of the collaboration and willingness of Tompion and Graham to adjust or upgrade.

Although the bun feet are re-instated they use the original peg holes in the carcass.