• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7700

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 139

    A CHARLES II GILT-BRASS MOUNTED EBONY DUTCH-STRIKING EIGHT DAY TABLE CLOCK

    JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON. CIRCA 1680

    Price Realised  

    A CHARLES II GILT-BRASS MOUNTED EBONY DUTCH-STRIKING EIGHT DAY TABLE CLOCK
    JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON. CIRCA 1680
    The Phase III type case with faceted ribbon-tied gilt-brass handle to cushion-moulded top also applied with gilt-brass foliate mounts to front and sides, glazed side panels, the front door with replaced pierced fret to the upper rail and typical Knibb gilt-brass escutcheons to each side, above stepped and moulded plinth base, the 6 in. square gilt-brass dial signed along the lower edge 'Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit', with gilt-brass winged cherub mask spandrels to silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring with fleur-de-lys half hour markers, matted centre with date square below XII, well-sculpted blued steel hands, the fully-latched movement secured to the case with turn catches, with typical Knibb slender plates joined by five ringed vase pillars, twin gut fusees with original verge escapement, Dutch-striking on two bells with two hammers via twice-twelve calibrated pierced countwheel on the back plate, this with outer scored line and with flower engraving around signature cartouche for 'Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit'; replaced Knibb-style brass winding key, case key
    11¾ in. (29.5 cm.) high, handle down; 9 in. (23 cm.) wide; 5¾ in. (14.5 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    R.A. Lee, The Knibb Family: Clockmakers, Byfleet, 1964, pp.84-93
    Alan Lloyd, The Collectors' Dictionary of Clocks, 1964, p.74, explains Dutch striking as, 'A form of dual striking where the hours are struck on a big bell and at the half hours the hour is repeated on a smaller, higher-toned bell. This method of striking is only possible with a locking plate... [I]t will be noted that the locking plate, (or countwheel) is notched in duplicate, so that the locking arm will allow a repetition of each number of blows. Dutch striking is not often found on English clocks and, as it is not practical with rack-and-snail striking, it soon dropped out after that system became generally adopted towards the end of the 17th century.'
    Knibb table clocks with countwheels are rarer than those with rack-and-snail strike. See also a Phase III type Knibb Dutch-striking table clock of closely related design, sold anonymously, Christie's London, 7 December 2005, lot 85.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Purchased by Mr John Brown of Blackheath, London at Garrard & Co., 1 January 1965, thence by descent.

    This clock and the following clock by Thomas Tompion (lot 140) were purchased by John Brown of Blackheath, London, at Garrard & Co. in the early 1960s. Garrard's clock and watch department was at that time managed by Donald de Carle, author of numerous books on the subject of clock and watch repairing. At Garrard Mr Brown bought the clocks from Alan Banbury, who was later instrumental in the formation of the Patek Philippe museum collection. He knew Alan Banbury's mother and this led him to visit him at Garrard.
    John Brown, who died in 2006, was of Lithuanian extraction, his family name being Neverauskas. A professional translator, he was proficient in some 20 languages and claimed a typing speed of 120 words per minute. These were the only two clocks he collected, paying £2250 for the Knibb and £3000 for the Tompion.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
    (LOTS 139-140)