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. In 1760 he was joined in business by his son Edward and in 1762 he was appointed Clockmaker to the King.
The Thwaites number 1153 indicates a probable date of manufacture for the movement of 1784. Thwaites supplied high quality movements to a number of clockmakers, including Allam and Clements, Henry Borrell, Dwerrihouse and Carter, Thomas Earnshaw, John Leroux, Francis Perigal and James Tregent.
The present clock bears close comparison with one by Benjamin Vulliamy sold, Simon Sainsbury Collection, Christie's London, 18 June 2008, lot 147 (£39,650). That clock, dating from circa 1815, was in a very similar brass-mounted triple pad top case. The dial also had floral engraving to the arch and white enamel chapter discs.