A very rare Charles II period black and gilt chinoiserie longcase clock with alarm.
The 10 inch square brass dial has a tulip engraved centre with a central silvered engraved alarm disc in the form of a rosette. The maker’s signature is set within an engraved lambrequin above VI. It has a single pierced blued steel hand and winged cherub and foliate gilt brass corner spandrels.
The large 30-hour lantern movement has four circular brass pillars secured with nuts at the top. The going train has a verge escapement with a short bob pendulum and inside countwheel strike on a bell. The alarm which is mounted on the backplate is sounded on the same bell with a double-headed hammer.
The slim elegant case has a flat top hood with barley twist pillars front and back and pierced gilt wooden sound frets. The full length rectangular trunk door is set below a convex chin moulding and is decorated with raised gilt chinoiserie decoration on a black lacquer ground. Similar decoration with figures in an oriental landscape is repeated on the base.
Height: 83 in (211 cm)
* Thomas Tompion made very few short duration 30-hour longcase clocks. The reason is that they were less expensive than longer duration clocks and may have been ordered for ‘below stairs’ in the servants’ quarters.
A similar 30-hour clock is illustrated on page 104, fig. 95, page 108, fig. 101 and described on page 276 in R W Symond’s Thomas Tompion, his life and work. It is in the collection of the Clockmakers’ Company at the Guildhall.
Provenance: The late Rev’d E. H. Isaac, Millom, Cumbria
The Vitale Collection of Highly Important European Clocks: Part 1,
Christie’s New York, 30 October 1996, lot 120
F.H. Green, Old English Clocks, 1931, plates V & VI
Antique Collecting (The Antique Collectors’ Club), Tom Robinson, Lacquered or Japanned Longcase Clocks, December 1981, vol. 16 No. 7, pp. 13-17, fig 6/1
Tom Robinson, The Longcase Clock, Woodbridge, 1995, pp. 118-120, fig. 6/1R.W. Symonds, Thomas Tompion, his life and work, London, 1969, pp. 104, 108, 276, figs. 95 & 101