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    Sale 7700

    Important English Furniture and Clocks

    22 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 200

    A VICTORIAN BRASS QUARTER-CHIMING PRESENTATION SKELETON CLOCK

    ATTRIBUTED TO SMITH'S OF CLERKENWELL. RETAILED BY COOPER, HUDDERSFIELD. PRESENTED 1864

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VICTORIAN BRASS QUARTER-CHIMING PRESENTATION SKELETON CLOCK
    ATTRIBUTED TO SMITH'S OF CLERKENWELL. RETAILED BY COOPER, HUDDERSFIELD. PRESENTED 1864
    The thick pierced brass tracery frame joined by seven substantial double-screwed pillars, secured to green velvet-covered tapering oval plinth, applied to the front with a pierced, silvered and engraved presentation plaque 'PRESENTED TO/Joseph Norton Esquire,/on retiring from business,/BY HIS NUMEROUS WORK PEOPLE/AS A TESTIMONIAL OF THEIR REGARD AND ESTEEM/MAY 1864', with retail signature on a banner above 'COOPER NEW STREET HUDDERSFIELD', the pierced, silvered and engraved chapter ring with 'Gothic' Roman chapters and coronet tips, blued steel pierced heart-shaped hands, the movement with triple chain fusees, Vulliamy-type dead beat escapement, wheels with six crossings, skeletonised under-dial work, hour strike on gong and quarter chimes on a nest of eight bells via 6½ in. long pinned barrel; pendulum, winding key; formerly under glass dome, now within ebonised and glazed display case
    See movement detail page 2 in the printed catalogue
    The clock -- 24 in. (61 cm.) high; 20½ in. (52 cm.) wide; 7½ in. (19 cm) deep, including plinth
    The case -- 28¼ in. (71.5 cm.) high; 24 2/3 in. (63 cm.) wide; 11½ in. (29.5 cm.) deep


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    Derek Roberts writes of this clock that it 'must have been one of the finest skeleton clocks produced'. Quarter chiming skeleton clocks of this size and quality are relatively rare. For other other examples, see Christie's London, 6 December 2006, lot 32 and also 5 July 2006, lot 81. Both of those clocks were also attributed to Smith's of Clerkenwell. As with the present clock, their bases carried presentation plaques (dated 1863 and 1869 respectively).
    Although particularly renowned for their skeleton clocks, Smith & Sons of Clerkenwell were one of the most important manufacturers of all types of clocks during the period 1850-1900. Indeed, the company was the subject of an article in The Illustrated London News of 20 September 1851 (reproduced in Roberts, op.cit., pp.260-267), in which it was held up as being at the forefront of contemporary clock manufacture.
    Smith's catalogue of 1865 gives an idea of the extensive range of skeleton clocks the company produced. A scroll pattern skeleton clock is listed at £2.10s. However, a clock such as the present example would have cost ten times as much: 'Chime Skeleton Clocks, quarter-hours on 8 bells & hours on gong, £25 upwards' (Roberts, p.127). Such clocks were amongst the finest the company produced.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    Illustrated, D. Roberts, British Skeleton Clocks, Woodbridge, 1987, pp.210-213, pl.35 & figs. 6/1b-g