A CHARLES II OLIVEWOOD PARQUETRY AND BOXWOOD, EBONY AND GREENSTAINED BONE MARQUETRY LONGCASE CLOCK

Details
A CHARLES II OLIVEWOOD PARQUETRY AND BOXWOOD, EBONY AND GREENSTAINED BONE MARQUETRY LONGCASE CLOCK
BY JOSEPH KNIBB OF OXFORD

The rising flat top hood with foliate-inlaid frieze above a glazed door flanked by twist columns, the door with panels of shaded and green-stained floral marquetry and oval lenticle above a similarly inlaid plinth and later bun feet, the 10 in. sq. dial signed Johannes Knibb Oxoniae Fecit at the base interrupting a wheatear engraved border, silvered chapter ring with typical 'Oxford-style' pierced blued steel hands, calendar aperture to the matted center, winged cherub spandrels, latches to the dial feet and five ringed pillars of the movement with outside countwheel strike on bell, anchor escapement with spring suspended butterfly-nut rated pendulum, the movement secured with brass bracket to background
70in. (178 cm.) high
Provenance
The Walter Iden Collection
Literature
H. Cescinsky, Old Master Clockmakers, 1938, p.72, figs.102-103 R. A. Lee, The Knibb Family Clockmakers, 1964, p.177, pl.27
P.G. Dawson, C.B. Drover and D.W. Parkes, Early English Clocks, 1982, p. 263, pl. 360 (with later skirting, now removed)
P.G. Dawson, The Iden Collection, 1987, vol. III, no. 70, pp. 170-171
Exhibited
London, The Science Museum, British Clockmaker's Heritage Exhibition, 23 May-14 September 1952, no.116

Lot Essay

John Knibb (b. 1650) was the fifth son of Thomas Knibb and younger brother of Joseph to whom he apprenticed in Oxford in 1664. When Joseph Knibb left for London, John took over the Oxford business receiving the Freedom of the City in 1673. By 1686, he was made a member of the City Council of Oxford. He obviously had a high reputation because before he died in 1722 he was made Keykeeper, then Alderman and was twice Mayor of Oxford.

The similarities between John and Joseph's work are such that there was much speculation as to whether John sold clocks made by his brother in London. While they undoubtedly exchanged ideas, close examination of most of their movements and cases indicate an individual style.

Walter Iden (1873-1952) was an engineer who, by his own admission had a limited knowledge of clocks. However in the 1940's, under the guidance of the clock dealer Percy Webster, he bought and sold some 100 English late 17th century and 18th century clocks. While never owning all of them at once, he still managed to buy some sixteen clocks by Thomas Tompion, fifteen by Daniel Quare and nineteen by Joseph and John Knibb.
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