This clock belongs to a small series of similarly cased walnut table clocks by Ellicott. A few, such as this one, have fine brass mounts. Recent examples include: a plain-cased quarter chiming table clock (with later anchor escapement) sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 28 May 2009, lot 77 (£31,250); a plain-cased timepiece table clock with pull quarter repeat sold anonymously, Christie's London, 5 July 2006, lot 124 (£33,600); a plain-cased striking table clock sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 10 April 2006, lot 59 (£43,200); and a brass-bound striking table clock with pull quarter repeat sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 25 September 2003, lot 303 (£48,000).
John Ellicott (1706-1772) was one of the finest clockmakers of the 18th Century. The son of a clockmaker, also John, Ellicott took over his father's premises in Sweetings Alley, near the Royal Exchange, circa 1728. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1738, serving on its council for three years. A friend to the globemaker John Senex and the astronomers John Hadley and James Ferguson, he had an observatory at his home in Hackney. In 1760 he was joined in business by his son Edward and in 1762 he was appointed Clockmaker to the King. He is probably best remembered for the invention of his compensated pendulum in 1752.