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Thomas Tompion No. 365

A Queen Anne walnut month-going longcase clock.  Circa 1705
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more Queen Victoria was the daughter of the Duke of Kent (third son of George III) and succeeded her uncle, King William IV, in 1837. She could not, however, succeed to the Hanoverian Crown, a title that would rightfully have been hers were it not for a ruling that the title could only be inherited by a male heir. Consequently in 1837 Queen Victoria's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland (fourth son of George III), became King Ernst August of Hanover (1837-1851). He was then succeeded in 1851 by his son King George V of Hanover, who married Princess Alexandrine, eldest daughter of His Highness Duke Joseph of Saxe-Altenburg. Their daughter was The Princess Frederica Sophie Marie Henriette Amalie Therese of Hanover (1848-1926) who married Baron Alfons Von Pawel-Rammingen in 1880. It was on the occasion of this marriage that Queen Victoria gave the present clock as a wedding present. Princess Frederica was one of the Queen's favourites; a sketch dated 1884 (in the Royal Archives) depicts Queen Victoria and Princess Frederica seated intimately together at a table playing cards. This fondness on the part of Queen Victoria might explain why she so generously gave one of her Tompion longcase clocks to someone as distantly related as a first cousin once removed.
Thomas Tompion No. 365 A Queen Anne walnut month-going longcase clock. Circa 1705

Thomas Tompion No. 365

A Queen Anne walnut month-going longcase clock. Circa 1705
The case with skirted foot to the plinth with feather-banded front panel, convex plinth moulding to the rectangular feather-banded trunk door punch-numbered 365 with the number 7 above on the top leading edge, the inside of the door branded twice with the Government Royal stamp VR beneath a crown, concave throat moulding to the hood with brass-capped three-quarter columns to the front door, foliate pierced wood sound frets to the sides and in double formation to the front and sides beneath the caddy top with three brass ball finials, the 11 in. square dial signed Tho: Tompion Londini fecit beneath the silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring with typical sword-hilt half-hour markers, finely sculpted blued steel hands, the finely matted centre with subsidiary seconds ring and pin-hole adjusted calendar aperture, bolt-and-shutter lever by chapters IX and X interrupting the foliate engraved border with double-screwed Indian mask-and-foliate spandrels, latches to the dial feet and to the six ringed pillars of the movement with anchor escapement and rack strike on bell above, the backplate punch-numbered 365 to its bottom centre and secured to the backboard by means of two securing brackets; later ivory-handled crank key punch numbered 365, two month-going brass-cased weights and pendulum with gilt-brass rod
7 ft. 10 in. (239 cm.)
Probably bought either by King William III or Queen Anne. Given in 1880, by Queen Victoria to Princess Frederica of Hanover to celebrate her marriage at the Private Chapel, Windsor Castle to Baron
Alfons Von Pawel-Rammingen, KCB, KCVO, KCH
Sold Sotheby's, London, 7 April 1933, The property of the late Baron Alfons Von Pawel-Rammingen, KCB, KCVO, KCH, removed from Villa Mourisot, Biarritz, lot 108, sold for 440.00 gns to Webster
1941, sold by Arthur S. Vernay Inc., New York
1951, in the Mathey Collection
1975, with Meyrick Neilson
Sold these rooms 2 July 1997, lot 91 to the present owner
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, A Loan Exhibition of Old English Clocks entirely the work of and signed by THO: TOMPION, 22-28 November, 1933, entry No. 12 described as; A month clock, burr walnut veneered case, believed to have been presented to a foreign nobleman by Queen Victoria, date about 1702, 11-inch dial.
April 1941, Sale catalogue for Arthur S. Vernay Inc., A special sale owing to his retirement from business, cat No. 495, $3,000
Country Life, 30 November, 1972
Antiquarian Horology, Winter, 1972
Antique Collector, December, 1972
Horological Journal, January, 1973
Algernon Asprey & Meyrick Neilson, An Exhibition of Fine Antique and Decorative Clocks, 10-20 June, 1975, cat. No. 1
Tom Robinson, The Longcase Clock, Woodbridge, 1981, pp. 195-6, fig. 9/1
A Loan Exhibition of Old English Clocks entirely the work of and signed by THO: TOMPION, 22-28 November, 1933, The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, cat. No. 12
An Exhibition of Fine Antique and Decorative Clocks, Algernon Asprey & Meyrick Neilson, cat. No. 1
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

Lot Essay

The remarkably well preserved condition of this clock is probably due to its highly privileged past. The hood proudly displays the original sound frets which have seen some restoration but are remarkably well preserved. The finials and caddy top are also remarkable survivals - the finials are cast brass with tiny blow-holes in their tops to allow the heat to dissipate when they were cast. The plinth has also survived in original condition; there is evidence of a 'water-mark' on the base skirt, which was earlier thought to betray the possible presence of a second skirt. However subsequent research has indicated this to be unlikely.

The movement and dial of the clock have also survived with virtually no alterations. They could usefully be used as a comparison with other Tompion longcase clocks from the same period that have survived so well.


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