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    Sale 7700

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 140

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

    THOMAS TOMPION, LONDON, NO.8. CIRCA 1682

    Price Realised  

    A CHARLES II GILT-BRASS MOUNTED EBONY STRIKING EIGHT DAY TABLE CLOCK
    THOMAS TOMPION, LONDON, NO.8. CIRCA 1682
    The Phase I type case with foliate-tied faceted gilt-brass handle to cushion-moulded top, rectangular glazed side panels, the front door with foliate cast silk-backed fret to the upper rail, paired gilt-brass escutcheons, above stepped and moulded plinth base raised on small block feet, punched '8' on the door cill, the 6¼ in. square gilt-brass dial signed along the lower edge 'Tho Tompion Londini fecit', with winged cherub mask spandrels to silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring with sword-hilt half hour markers, the matted centre with date square above VI (later? double pinhole adjustment to date ring) , strike/not strike lever above XII, well-sculpted blued steel hands, the fully-latched movement secured to the case with bolts through the baseboard, with five ringed pillars, twin gut fusees with verge escapement, hour striking on bell, evidence of former pull quarter repeat, the back plate with scored line border and tulip engraving, signed within a rectangular reserve 'Tho Tompion Londini Fecit' and numbered '8' along the lower edge, with calibrated pendulum bob; later pierced brass winding key, case key
    12¾ in. (32.5 cm.) high, handle down; 9 1/3 in. (24 cm.) wide; 6 1/3 in. (16 cm.) deep


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    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    J. Evans, Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns, Ticehurst, 2006 R.W. Symonds, Thomas Tompion, His Life and Work, London, 1951, pp.145-148 and pp.192-194

    Tompion No.8 dates from the first year of Tompion's numbering system, which Jeremy Evans has suggested started circa 1682 (p.71). The 'Phase I' design was first used on his un-numbered clocks, commencing some five or so years before. Stylistically it bears many features in common with other examples (see Symonds pp.145-148), particularly with regard to its case. The back plate engraving and signature reserve may also be considered typical of early Tompion. Interestingly, however, it has a narrower movement, with plates joined by five pillars rather than the more customary seven. These are features it shares with Tompion 38 (see Antiquarian Horology, Volume fifteen, September 1984, G.E. Marsh advertisment), along with having a date aperture and a strike/not silent lever above XII on the dial. Why these two clocks should have narrower movements must remain a matter of conjecture. As Jeremy Evans writes: '[R]eally we know very little about Tompion's production arrangements, and to illustrate this it only needs to be pointed out that close examination of the three principal types of watch retailed...strongly suggests that they were being made in different workshops, by different teams of craftsmen'.

    Special Notice

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


    Provenance

    Henry King, esq.; Sotheby's London, 10 March 1933, lot 121
    Purchased by Mr John Brown of Blackheath, London at Garrard & Co., 21 May 1963, thence by descent


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
    (LOTS 139-140)


    Literature

    Illustrated, Connoisseur, March 1933 [Sotheby's sale advertisement]