• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7841

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    29 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 119

    A VICTORIAN GIANT NICKEL-CASED STRIKING AND REPEATING EIGHT DAY CARRIAGE CLOCK WITH DENT'S SPLIT HANDLE

    EDWARD WHITE, LONDON, NO. 692. THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VICTORIAN GIANT NICKEL-CASED STRIKING AND REPEATING EIGHT DAY CARRIAGE CLOCK WITH DENT'S SPLIT HANDLE
    EDWARD WHITE, LONDON, NO. 692. THIRD QUARTER 19TH CENTURY
    CASE: fully bevel-glazed, the handle splitting and recessing into the top, repeat plunger to right glass, shuttered holes for winding, setting and strike/silent to rear DIAL: engine-turned mask to white enamel chapter disc with subsidiary seconds, signed 'E WHITE/20 COCKSPUR ST./LONDON', blued steel hands MOVEMENT: substantially made with twin chain fusees, Harrison's maintaining power, large gilt platform with cut bimetallic balance to underslung lever escapement, rack strike/repeat on gong, back plate signed 'E WHITE/20 COCKSPUR ST./LONDON/692'; winding key
    7¾ in (19.5 cm.) high; 5 5/8 in. (14 cm.) wide; 4¾ in. (12 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Nickel (also known as 'German silver') carriage clocks are rare. Other than the present example, there may be as few as eight such clocks. All others recorded are by Dent, who introduced the model, and have chronometer escapements. Of the nine clocks, six have the split handle seen on the present clock and three have a fixed polygonal handle (see full listing at end of note). In recent years just two have appeared at auction: a quarter-striking carriage clock with split handle (No. 14806) sold anonymously Christie's London, 15 September 2004, lot 26 (£48,000), previously, the Vitale Collection, Christie's London, 26 November 1996, lot 209 (£87,300); and a fixed handle carriage clock with prismatic balance (No. 1392) sold anonymously, Christie's London, 1 July 2008, lot 29 (£43,250).
    Edward White's entry in the London International Exhibition (1862) catalogue describes item 7; 'An eight-day lever clock with compensation balance (striking the hours and half hours, and repeating the last hour on bell-spring, with very fine cathedral tone), in German silver'. This entry probably describes the present clock, which is certainly of exhibition quality (see J.B. Hawkins, Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking, Sydney, 1975, appendix D.)
    Nickel-cased carriage clocks were amongst the finest produced and an 1873 Dent price list gives a price of 40 to 55 guineas for a striking example with lever escapement (see Roberts, p. 308). To put this in perspective, a good quality French timepiece carriage clock would be offered by the firm at 6 guineas.
    White, previously a foreman at Dent's, is recorded at 20 Cockspur Street 1861-1900. Dent had premises in the same street. The very close ties between the two companies may be seen in the present clock, which is almost identical Dent No. 25712 (see Roberts, p. 314) and indeed in other brass carriage clocks. The folding split handle is only seen elsewhere on Dent clocks (see also lot 134) and Roberts writes of Dent 17783: 'This style of case with its rounded top mould and split carrying handle...appears to have been unique to Dent' (p. 312).
    White received a prize medal at The Great International London Exhibition in 1862, for a giant quarter-chiming carriage clock which was critically acclaimed by Charles Frodsham. He further exhibited at the Dublin and Paris Exhibitions, of 1865 and 1867 respectively, and won another medal at Dublin for 'great taste and excellence of workmanship'(see Richard Good, Victorian Clocks, London, 1996, p. 110).
    The nickel carriage clocks currently recorded are:
    No. 692 (the present clock). Signed E. White, 20 Cockspur Street, London.
    Features: spade hands, engine-turned mask, split handle, striking and repeating, underslung lever balance
    No. 1392. Signed Frederick Dent, 61 Strand & 54 Royal Exchange, London.
    Features: spade hands, foliate mask, polygonal handle, timepiece, prismatic balance.
    Christie's London, 1 July 2008, lot 29.
    No. 1458. Signed: F. Dent, 61 Strand & 34 Royal Exchange, London. Features: spade hands, foliate mask, polygonal handle
    John Carlton Smith advertisement, Antiquarian Horology, December 1982, p.519
    No. 1567. Signed: Dent, 61 Strand & 34 Royal Exchange, London. Features: spade hands, foliate mask, polygonal handle, with presentation inscription, timepiece, Type B prismatic balance
    Keith Banham advertisement, Antiquarian Horology, Autumn 1979, p.463; Phillips London, 16 October 1980, lot 61; Roberts, p.306
    No. 14806. Signed: Dent, London.
    Features: moon hands, foliate mask, split handle, quarter striking, Dent patent double staple balance
    Christie's London, The Vitale Collection of Highly Important European Clocks, Part II, 26 November 1996, lot 209; Christie's London, Magnificent Clocks, 15 September 2004, lot 26
    No. 14880. Signed: Dent, London.
    Features: moon hands, foliate mask, split handle, quarter striking, Dent patent double staple balance
    Allix & Bonnert, p.258
    No. 15956. Signed: E.J. Dent, London.
    Features: fleur-de-lys hands, engine-turned mask, split handle, striking and repeating, Dent patent double staple balance
    Private Collection
    No. 17783. Signed: Dent, London.
    Features: moon hands, foliate mask, split handle, striking and repeating, alarm, Dent patent double staple balance
    Roberts, pp.312-313
    No. 25712. Signed: Dent, 33 Cockspur Street, London.
    Features: moon hands, engine-turned mask, split handle, striking
    Roberts, pp.314-315

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    With Patric Capon, Islington.


    Saleroom Notice

    The height measurement of this lot was taken with the handle down.


    Pre-Lot Text

    FROM THE COLLECTION OF SIR JAMES STIRLING (LOTS 111-120)


    Literature

    D. Roberts, Carriage and Other Travelling Clocks, Atglen, 1993, p.317, fig. 21-19.


    Exhibited

    Probably shown at the International Exhibition, London, 1862.