Joseph Knibb, 1640-1711, was one of the most celebrated clockmakers of his day. Although not certain, it is thought that he served his apprenticeship with his cousin Samuel Knibb, 1625-1670 in Newport Pagnel and who later went to London Ca.1662. In about 1665 Joseph moved to Oxford and worked for his brother John who himself was a highly thought of clockmaker who later became Mayor of Oxford.
Joseph moved to London and became a Free Brother of the Clockmakers' Company 1670/1. Quite apart from producing work of consistant high quality, Joseph was imaginative, inventive and had an excellent eye for proportion. His turret clock at Wadham College is fitted with the earliest known dated anchor escapement and even before that he had produced a type of cross-beat demonstrating that he was at the cutting edge of the development of the anchor escapement.
His cases are instantly recognizable in particular his bracket clocks which followed an interesting line of development. His longcase clocks too were beautifully made and held a certain elegance about their proportions (See Lot 251).
The present clock has Dutch strike which was another of Knibb's specialities and which employed a double-cut countwheel that repeats the last hour on every half hour on a separate bell of higher pitch to that of the hour bell.