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A fine provincial George III mahogany and gilt-metal mounted musical automaton table clock
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A fine provincial George III mahogany and gilt-metal mounted musical automaton table clock

JOHN BANCROFT, SCARBOROUGH. CIRCA 1790-1800

Details
A fine provincial George III mahogany and gilt-metal mounted musical automaton table clock
John Bancroft, Scarborough. Circa 1790-1800
The breakarch case surmounted by a pineapple finial on a concave moulded pedestal, and with three raised rectangular detachable pads with gilt-brass mouldings and gilt-brass trellis sound frets with silk backing, brass handles to the sides also applied with gilt-metal trellis-cast sound frets, the cross-banded front door with chamfered sides applied with gilt-metal foliate mounts, the moulded base raised on amusing smiling mask-and-foliate feet, the dial signed John Bancroft Scarborough in the centre of the silvered chapter disc with Roman and Arabic chapters with well pierced gilt-brass hands, subsidiary dials for the date and Chime/Not Chime beneath the musical selection ring engraved with the following tunes;
104TH PSALM
MISS BAKER'S HORNPIPE
HASTE TO THE WEDDING
FISHER'S HORNPIPE
JIGG BY GREEN
JACKSONS MORNING BRUSH
SEYMOUR'S HORNPIPE

the chapter disc within an unusual gilt-metal mask cast with flower heads and stylised foliage, the arch centred by the automaton scene with silk curtain slowly raised by a cam system as the tune commences revealing a stage with a man in period country costume playing a fiddle and dancing, whilst a lady on his left, dressed with feather head-dress and long skirts dances in turn to the fiddle, the stage flanked by a gilt-metal mask cast with pipers, the substantial triple wire fusee movement with thick brass rectangular plates secured by five robust pillars, verge escapement with spring-suspended pendulum with foliate engraved bob, the hours struck on a single bell, the music playing one of the seven tunes every three hours on twelve bells by as many hammers via a large 4¼in. long pin barrel, the tunes selected by means of a push-rod to the left side of the case, the hammer springs with linkeage to the automaton figures on the stage, the backplate charmingly engraved with scrolling foliage and signed in the centre John Bancroft Scarborough
22½in. (57cm.) high
Provenance
Bought from a dealer in Great Heywood, Stratford in 1965
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

John Bancroft is listed as working in Scarborough between 1780-1807. The present clock case is an unusual variation of the triple pad top. Each panel is detachable with turn-latches in their underside and each is set with a gilt-metal sound fret. Another unusual feature is the amusing feet which are cast as smiling masks - in excellent keeping with the clock's theatrical theme. The automaton figures with their original paintwork move in conjunction with the bell hammers and the musical train plays particularly clear melodious tunes. The going train has six crossings to each wheel, whilst the flanking trains have four.
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