The fact that this clock belonged to the Earls of Chesterfield indicates that it may have been commissioned by Philip Dormer, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (d. 1773). He may also have been responsible for its re-housing in a French-fashioned tortoiseshell case to harmonise with the interior decoration he introduced at his Mayfair mansion in Chesterfield Street. Its furnishings were transferred to Bretby Hall in the Nineteenth Century and were later dispersed in a series of major sales at Christie's in 1918 by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon whose father had married Evelyn the 7th Earl of Chesterfield's daughter in 1861.
The case of the present clock, although of frighteningly good construction was never made to deceive. When the clock first appeared for sale in 1918 it was housed in a tortoiseshell case and then later in its second sale in 1952 the case was catalogued as of later date. Subsequently, a year later the then owner had the present case made by Percy Dawson which is an exact replica right down to the multi-piece finials.
Tompion made a small number of grande sonnerie bracket clocks, all of them were housed in grand cases of ebony adorned with ormolu or even silver and silver-gilt. They were unquestionably his most important and most expensive clocks. The present example is one of the last of his grande sonnerie clocks; its backplate is unusually engraved with a military trophy which might fancifully have been a result of a request from the buyer in celebration of the recent victorious battle of Blenheim in 1704 when the British, Dutch, German and Austrian trrops defeated the French and Bavarian forces resulting in the capture of Gibraltar.