25 April 2008
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION
A WILLIAM AND MARY WALNUT AND FLORAL MARQUETRY MONTH-GOING LONGCASE CLOCK
BY JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON CIRCA 1695
The formerly rising hood now sliding forward (without door), with later frets to the cornices, spiral twist pillars to the front and conforming half columns to the rear slats, with movement securing bracket to the upper backboard, the trunk door with reserves of floral marquetry, the central panel with bird and the lower panel now shortened, the inside of the door with paper label for The Wetherfield Collection of Clocks, replaced hinges, above rebuilt later plinth with later skirting the 10 in. square brass dial with chevron-engraved border intersected by a signature reserve for Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit, with gilt-brass winged cherub mask spandrels to formerly silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring with fleur-de-lys half hour markers, matted center with date aperture just below XII, possibly original steel hands, the fully latched movement with five ringed pillars, anchor escapement with cut out on the back plate matching the pallets, outside countwheel strike on replaced bell, the suspension with Knibb-type butterfly rating nut, vacant holes for now missing securing bracket; brass rod pendulum with butterfly rating nut and double-faced brass bob, two brass weights, crank key
80½ in. (204 cm.) high, 16½ in. (42 cm.) wide, 9 in. (23 cm.) deep
The Wetherfield Collection.
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Arthur S. Vernay, The Wetherfield Collection of English Clocks, 1928, p. 28, fig. 31.
The Wetherfield Collection of Clocks, 1929, 2nd ed., p. 17.
E. Bruton, The Wetherfield Collection of Clocks, London, 1981, p. 153, fig. 108.
Born in 1640 Joseph Knibb was apprenticed to his cousin Samuel circa 1655. At the end of his apprenticeship in 1662 he moved to Oxford, while Samuel moved to London. Trading in Oxford proved difficult for Joseph and it was not until 1668, upon payment of a fine, that he was allowed to do so unhindered. In 1670 Samuel died and Joseph moved to London, presumably to take over his cousin's workshop. Joseph became a Free Brother in the Clockmakers' Company that year. His first premises were at the Dial in Fleet Street and in 1693 he moved to the Clock Dial near Charing Cross. He became a Steward in the Company in 1684 and an Assistant in 1689. The number of clocks still extant suggest that his must have been one of the busiest workshops in London. He sold the business in 1697 and retired to Buckinghamshire, where he contined to make some clocks but on a smaller scale. He died in 1711.
The Wetherfield collection of English clocks was one of the most celebrated clock collections ever formed. Put together over forty years by David Wetherfield of Black Heath, England, it was disbursed after his death.
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