Clock, Thomas Tompion

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Object detail

Open work clock in glazed wooden cabinet. Main face with hour and minute and minute hands. Separate seconds dial. Third dial marked "N" "S". Face cut away to show pendulum. Keys in back and side doors. Numbered 435 on main case under the front door. Carry-handle on carved wooden top.

Detailed description supplied by Jeremy Evans, recently retired watch and clock curator at the British Museum, in reply to enquiry by volunteer Liz Manning, 31-3-2006:

435. Bracket-clock; 8-day with pull-quarter repeat; ebony;

Tompion and Banger.

{C}Phase 3 case not of standard form, 17.5" to top of case, 20" to top of handle, the inverted bell-top having a wider moulding pending proper name beneath the thistle-bud and acanthus handle, the front-door with pierced gilded foliate scroll sound-fret, shell and foliage mount at base, later keyhole escutcheon, and moulded dial aperture; case sides with rectangular rather than round-ended sound-frets above arched, glazed windows; block-feet. Clock has a fine wall-bracket which is believed to be original, with cushion-moulded upper section and tapered drop; it probably contains a drawer for the winding-key.

{D}Standard phase 2 with female mask and foliate spandrels (type 2), signed THO. TOMPION+EDW.BANGER LONDINI Fecit between subsidiary dials but the presence of two small holes within the signature almost certainly indicates that it was once covered, like the back-plate signature, by a plaque bearing Tompion's signature alone; standard chapter-ring and mock pendulum; hour-hand of uncharacteristic shape but possibly original.

{M}Standard 7-pillar?, all cocks on back-plate with tear-drop feet, including those of the tapered and engraved brass angle brackets; back-plate engraved with scrolling foliage and, most unusually - uniquely? - has an applied rectangular plate with the script signature Tho: Tompion London, the plate probably covering a rectangular signature cartouche like those of nos.421 and 440.

{NandM}Movement: back-plate bottom centre; case: front-door sill.

{PandL}Said to have been owned by a Miss Reed who emigrated from England to Australia. Miss Reed gave the clock and its bracket to her doctor and friend Dr CF Marks who left it to his son Dr AH Marks of 71, Munro Street, Auchenflower, Brisbane, whose widow gave it on his behalf to Queensland Museum, 7:1954, H4. Illustrated in bulletin of NAWCC, February 1981 (whole no.210) Vol XXIII, No.1.).

{XREFS}Arched side windows; base and bracket. Back-plate signature. Pint out that dial and b-p sigs were probably like those of 421 or 440.
CH classification HOROLOGY Clocks wall clock
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L300 x W490 x H180 mm
Media/Materials description
Wood, steel, glass
History and use
This bracket clock was made in 1708 and is number 435 of the Tompion Banger collection. Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) was a renowned English clockmaker, sometimes called ‘the father of English clockmaking’. He was watch and clockmaker to the British monarchs of the day and the first clockmaker to be given the honour of a burial in Westminster Abbey. Tompion partnered with Graham Banger from 1700 to 1708, producing a fine range of individually numbered timepieces.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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