Simon De Charmes or Des Charmes is first recorded in 1688 and was a freeman of the Clockmaker's Company between 1691 and 1730. A red lacquer bracket clock also by De Charmes is illustrated in Cescinsky and Webster, English Domestic Clocks, London, 1914.
The fine japanned decoration found on the present clock is typical of the fashion in the late 17th and early 18th centuries for 'india japan' as favored by Queen Mary, and recorded in the 1696 inventory of her bedchamber at Kensington Palace. The use of japanned decoration was promoted by John Stalker and George Parker's A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing, published in Oxford in 1688. It was produced from a necessity to supply the increasing demand for lacquered wares difficult to import from the East and assist those who ...have need to be instructed, and to the disgrace of the Title lurk and shelter themselves under the notion of Japanners, Painters and Guilders, etc.
The current clock displays similarities to the designs published by Stalker and Parker, in particular the flower-filled vase to the door of the case is close in design to plate 14 and the figures above are related to plate 16, inscribed Severall Figures to be plased as Occasion servdh in Jappan Worke.