Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) made comparatively few spring clocks in large inverted bell top cases. These handsome clocks started production in Tompion's workshops from about 1699/1700. Tompion's total spring clock production numbered perhaps as many as 200 two-train timepieces; of these the large inverted bell top clocks only account for perhaps 15-20 of the total out put, making them considerably rarer than his standard cushion domed clocks. The spring clock cases with 'domed' or cushion-moulded tops were between 12-14 inches high, depending on whether the dial was square or rectangular. The smallest ebony-veneered cushion top spring clock is No. 222 which stands only 6¾in. high, the largest being up to 14in. high (No. 161).
The larger inverted bell top cases, personified by the present lot, were between 16-17 inches high; the variants being the elaborate grande sonnerie clocks such as the Medici (No. 278) and Selby-Lowndes (No. 217) Tompions.
There are two well-documented comparisons to the present lot; R.W. Symonds, Thomas Tompion, His Life and Work, Batsford, 1951, p. 155, fig. 132B illustrates spring clock No. 388. This clock has a virtually identical case to No. 377 with plain vase-shaped finials and elaborate handle but lacking the gilt-metal gadrooned feet. No. 388 has an interesting history having been originally made for Christian Seigfried Von Plessen, Envoy to the Danish Crown it was sold at Christie's in 1933, the Property of a Lady, and subsequently gifted to King George V and Queen Mary in May 1935 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his accession to the Throne.
Another close comparison to the present lot is Tompion No. 394, with large size inverted bell top case but lacking the finials and the gilt-metal gadrooned feet. That particular clock was sold at Sotheby's, London on 22 Febraury 1990, lot 317 for £121,000.