• Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen auction at Christies

    Sale 7822

    Cabinet d'un Amateur Européen

    9 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 321

    A GEORGE II LARGE BRASS-MOUNTED GREEN JAPANNED QUARTER-CHIMING ASTRONOMICAL TABLE CLOCK

    JOHN ELLICOTT, LONDON. CIRCA 1760

    Estimate

    A GEORGE II LARGE BRASS-MOUNTED GREEN JAPANNED QUARTER-CHIMING ASTRONOMICAL TABLE CLOCK
    JOHN ELLICOTT, LONDON. CIRCA 1760
    CASE: with inverted bell top, tiered sound frets, surmounted by revolving moon painted to show its phases, with flaming urn finials and caryatids trailing flowers to all angles, the sides with brass handles above glazed panels, on brass scroll feet; mounts regilt, paintwork refreshed; case key DIAL: the 9 in. wide brass dial with scroll and foliate spandrels (probably replaced) to the engraved and silvered chapter ring, with wheatear engraved border to the arch, signed 'Ellicott London' between silvered rings showing lunar date and annual calendar (Spanish inscriptions for the months) the latter arch also showing the zodiacal calendar, sunrise and sunset, and the declination of the sun above the equator MOVEMENT: eight day duration, with six ring-turned pillars, triple line fusees with verge escapement, chiming the quarters on a nest of eight bells and the hours on further bell, the back plate engraved with scrolls and with a flowering basket, signed 'Ellicott/London'; winding key
    32¼ in. (82 cm.) high; 17¼ in. (44 cm.) wide; 11 in. (28 cm.) deep


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    John Ellicott (1706-1772) was one of the finest clockmakers of the 18th Century. The son of a clockmaker, also John, Ellicott took 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. He was friend to the globemaker John Senex and the astronomer John Hadley, and 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.
    The distinctive revolving moon at the top of the present clock may be compared with one on a walnut musical table clock by Ellicott sold from the property of a gentleman, Christie's London, 13 December 2000, lot 101 (£80,750). Flaming urn finials and caryatid mounts can be seen on cases by a number of clockmakers during this period but the inset foliate cast scroll feet are typically 'Ellicott'. All of these features are to be found on a mahogany quarter-chiming clock sold Christie's London, 1 July 2008, lot 38 and also on an ebonised quarter-chiming clock sold Christie's South Kensington 18 December 2002, lot 525.
    Sophisticated astronomical dial work such as on the present clock is rarely found on English 18th Century table clocks.

    Special Notice

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


    Provenance

    The Time Museum, Rockford, Illinois, sold Sotheby's New York, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, 2 December 1999, lot 79, where acquired by the present owner.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the following provenance for this lot:
    The Time Museum, Rockford, Illinois, sold Sotheby's New York, Masterpieces from the Time Museum, 2 December 1999, lot 79, where acquired by the present owner.


    Literature

    P. Heuer & K. Maurice, Europäische Pendeluhren, Munich, 1988, pp. 148-149, figs 281-282.