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    Sale 7604

    Important Clocks and Marine Chronometers

    1 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 57

    A William III gilt-brass mounted ebony eight day striking table clock with pull quarter repeat

    THOMAS TOMPION, LONDON, NO.249. CIRCA 1695

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A William III gilt-brass mounted ebony eight day striking table clock with pull quarter repeat
    Thomas Tompion, London, No.249. Circa 1695
    The Phase II type case with cushion moulded top with applied gilt-brass mount and surmounted by foliate tied gilt-brass handle, replaced pierced ebony sound frets above glazed rectangular side panels, the front door with gilt-brass foliate sound fret to the top rail and applied escutcheons to the side rails, the inside door-sill stamped 249, exhibition labels pasted to the glazed panel of the rear door and inscribed BRITISH CLOCKMAKER'S/HERITAGE EXHIBITION/CAT No:-129/SCIENCE MUSEUM/LONDON. 1952 and C.I.N.O.A./INTERNATIONAL ART/TREASURES/EXHIBITION/VICTORIA & ALBERT/MUSEUM 1962/EXHIBIT No 199, the 6¾ in. wide gilt-brass dial with mask and foliate spandrels to silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring with sword hilt half hour and half quarter hour markers, mock pendulum aperture to the finely matted centre, silvered subsidiary rings for pendulum regulation and strike/not strike flanking signature Thomas Tompion/LONDINI/Fecit within foliate engraved cartouche, latches to the dial feet (one lacking, now pinned), finely cut and fettled blued steel hands, original(?)steel securing brackets to the movement with substantial plates joined by seven ring-turned and latched pillars, twin gut fusees, pivoted verge escapement, internal rack strike on large bell and pull quarter repeat on smaller bell via Tompion's system of double-cocked interconnecting steel levers on the back plate and spring-loaded cantilevered arms on the front plate, the back plate profusely engraved with scrolling foliage, signed Thomas Tompion/LONDINI/Fecit to foliate engraved cartouche and punch-numbered 249 below the scored line border; pendulum, case key
    14¾ in. (36 cm.) high, handle down


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    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE:
    J. Evans, Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns, Ticehurst, 2006
    R.W. Symonds, Thomas Tompion, His Life and Work, London, 1951
    P.G. Dawson, The Iden Clock Collection, Woodbridge, 1987
    P.G. Dawson, C.B. Drover & D.W. Parkes, Early English Clocks, Woodbridge, 1982
    R.C.R. Barder, The Georgian Bracket Clock 1714-1830, Woodbridge, 1999
    H. Cescinsky, The Old English Master Clockmakers and their Clocks, London, 1938
    The case style of No.249 is designated by Jeremy Evans (p.68) as Tompion's Phase II, and was used by him from c.1690 until superseded by the Phase III design in c.1708 (see lot 58). Comparisons may be made with examples illustrated in Evans (p.68), Symonds (pp.150-151) Dawson (pp.92-97) and Dawson, Drover & Parkes (pp.482). Barder (p.27) shows No.244, numerically the closest recorded Tompion table clock. Interestingly, that clock and No.298, illustrated by Cescinsky (p.128) have blued steel securing brackets similar to those found on the present clock. A Phase II table clock (No.260) was sold Christie's Amsterdam, The P.C. Spaans Collection of Important European Clocks, 19 December 2007, lot 495.
    No.249 was acquired by the present owner from the late Peter Gwynn, who bought it from Garrards for £1550 on 28 June 1957. Garrards had previously paid Hans von Bertele £1250 for the clock. De Carle's Tompion ledger, containing notes on the clocks he encountered during his work at Garrards (now with the British Museum) reads: Dawson has for repair & says 'perfect' Similar to 182. Hobson overhauled the movement and it is featured in Hobson's Choice, p.23-25. It had previously been offered in an advertisement by Watkins of Carey Street in February 1953, presumably on behalf of von Bertele and presumably taken back by him when unsold.
    Von Bertele bought No.249 in 1946, from a member of the von Rath family, a provenance which is referenced in the Connoisseur article of June 1962. According to notes apparently compiled by von Bertele, von Rath family tradition held that the clock had been in their possession since being purchased from Tompion. The family had been merchants and bankers since the 17th Century. Going back to the 19th Century, the clock's provenance was said to be as follows: Paul von Rath inherited from his family in Augsburg in about 1830; Frau Barbara von Rath inherited from her husband's father, Paul von Rath, in about 1860; Frau Koch inherited from her mother, Frau Barbara von Rath of Budapest in about 1890; the daughter of Frau Koch, widow of Professor Koch of Vienna University, inherited in about 1920; the sister of the last owner held the clock until 1946.
    We are grateful to Mr Jeremy Evans for his assistance in compiling this footnote.

    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.


    Provenance

    The present owner,
    The late Peter Gwynn,
    Dr Hans von Bertele,
    The von Rath family


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    Illustrated, E. Bassermann-Jordan & H. von Bertele Uhren, Klinkhardt and Biermann, Braunschweig, 1969, pp.287-288, abb.224a-224b
    Connoisseur, 'The R.T. Gwynn Collections', fig.15, June 1962


    Exhibited

    British Clockmaker's Heritage Exhibition, Science Museum, London, 1952, catalogue no.129, lent by Hans von Bertele
    C.I.N.O.A. International Art Treasures Exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1962, catalogue no.199