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John Grant London; case attributed to Thomas Chippendale

the architectonic veneered and sawn mahogany case with ogee-moulded foot supporting the rectangular plinth applied with hollow-cornered panels to the front and sides, the trunk glazed to the front door and sides with similar mouldings, the angles with simple Doric columns supported on tapering plinths, the entablature above applied with a mother-of-pearl plaque engraved John Grant London, the deeply concave-moulded hood applied with gilt-brass glazed bezel to the 12in. circular white enamel dial with typical regulator layout, signed John Grant Fleet Street London, the dial feet with robust latches to the massive movement with six pillars of tapering form screwed to the front plate and rivetted to the backplate. gilt-brass sliding dust shutters to the sides with double-latched shutter to the top, all wheels with six crossings, jewelled pallets for the deadbeat escapement with jewelled end-capped pivots, similarly end-capped pivots to the 'scape wheel, all other wheels with plain end-caps, Harrison's maintaining power, steel crutchpiece with fine adjustment to its arbor, Holmes-type anti-friction pivoted detent to the massive steel and gilt-brass gridiron pendulum suspended from a well sculpted gilt-brass suspension block, the pendulum bob terminating with a calibrated adjustment nut with steel pointer and beneath that a calibrated globe for fine adjustment, the pendulum swinging against a silvered beat scale with pendulum holdfast clip; gilt brass dome-shaped weight with integral pulley
6ft.5in. (196cm.) high
Comparative Literature;
Cedric Jagger, Royal Clocks, London, 1983, pp.101-103, figs.140-143
H. Alan Lloyd, Some Outstanding Clocks, Baron, 1981, pp.192-3, pls. 132 & 3

Lot Essay

John Grant, 1781-1810, was unquestionably a brilliant clockmaker who sadly died prematurely at the age of 29. His master was the great Alexander Cumming who influenced his work considerably and in particular the present clock.
Its Grecian-enriched clock case, with its medallioned hood, hollow-sided altar plinth and glazed pedestal with medallioned tablet and Doric pilasters, is designed in the George III 'antique' manner of the 1770's. Its classic design, superbably figured mahogany veneer and panels framed with hollowed 'French' corners is typical of the work of Thomas Chipendale, d.1778, cabinet maker of St. Martin's Lane and author of The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Directory, 1754-63. The evolution of the design can be traced back to Alexander Cumming's great masterpiece the clock-driven barograph made for George III in around 1765 under the direction of the architect Sir William Chambers. However in particular it relates to Chippendale's marquetry and ormolu-enriched case with a Cumming barograph movement executed in tha 1770's and formally displayed at Lowther Castle and now on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum; see C. Gilbert Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, figs. 35-7.
The unquestionable resemblence of the present clock case to Cumming's barograph clocks confirms that they were all made in Chippendale's workshops.

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