Example Of A Onehanded Square Dial Clock Of Late Period

Fig. 392. EDUARDUS EAST, L0ND1N1."

9-in. Dial of 8-day Striking Clock. Date about 1665.

Fig. 392. EDUARDUS EAST, L0ND1N1."

9-in. Dial of 8-day Striking Clock. Date about 1665.

are attached, and the winding key turns these squares and the barrels at the same time, thus coiling the gut lines and lifting the weights. The barrels are cogged, and a spring-ratchet allows the barrel to turn the one way only, thus preventing the line from running down with its weight when the winding-key is removed. The right-hand barrel is usually for the going, the left for the striking respectively.1 The collection of wheels attached to each is known as the " going train " and " striking train " respectively. It is unnecessary here to enter into an elaborate explanation as to how and why a clock goes and records time, as this has been fully described in the larger book " English Domestic Clocks " before referred to.

It is obvious, however, that if the fall of the going weight is the driving force of the clock, some %\ uniform check must be placed on this fall so that

<Jfi 't shall take eight days, a month, or some regular

V impr I period to accomplish its descent to the full length of the gut line. The eighteenth-century long-case clocks have usually a period of eight days, between w indings, that is, in technical parlance, the train is one of four wheels from main wheel to the escapement, but month and even year clocks were made by the noted makers.

The check on the fall of the driving weight is I ^ pjj the escapement and the pendulum. The fastest

■ .. j—| '• wheel, and therefore the most easily controlled,

L l\ at other end °f the train to the gut-wound

■5a W S "3 ' •■: barrel, and is known as the escape-wheel. This

Fig- 393- is toothed, and is engaged by two checks attached

" GUL1ELMUS CLEMENT, LOND1N1, FECIT."

8-in. Dial of S-day Quarter-striking Clock. t0 the pendulum, which m its SWing alternately ij-seconds Pendulum. Date about 1675.

Henry T. Brice, Esq.

1 In some complicated clocks, especially those with three trains, this rule docs not always apply. 290

Three Train Bracket Clock

Figs. 394 and 395.

WILLIAM CLEMENT, LONDON.

(Gulielmus Clement, Londini, Fecit.j Month Clock, Xon-striking. i {--seconds pendulum. (61.155 ins. in length.)

Bolt-and-shutter maintaining power.

Water gilt dial.

<>ak case veneered with burr walnut Sliding hood, supported on spiral click-spring. Height of case, 6 ft. 6 ins.

Date about 1675.

Figs. 394 and 395.

WILLIAM CLEMENT, LONDON.

(Gulielmus Clement, Londini, Fecit.j Month Clock, Xon-striking. i {--seconds pendulum. (61.155 ins. in length.)

Bolt-and-shutter maintaining power.

Water gilt dial.

<>ak case veneered with burr walnut Sliding hood, supported on spiral click-spring. Height of case, 6 ft. 6 ins.

Date about 1675.

-engages one and then the other of these checks in the teeth of the escape wheel, allowing one tooth to escape, and the wheel to revolve thus far av ith each swing. At the same time, the pendulum receives an impulse from the crutch attached to the escapement which carries it on to its next swing. The clock, therefore, is regulated by the time the pendulum takes to oscillate, and this is a fixed quantity depending on one circumstance only. Stated in exact language, a pendulum with a length of 39-1393 ins. from the exact bending point of the steel suspension at the top to the centre of gravity of the entire

Figs. 396 and 397.

THOMAS TOMPION, LONDON.

(Thomas Tompion, Londini, Fecit.)

S-day Striking Clock ; water-gilt dial.

Finely pierced and carved hands.

Oak case veneered with burr walnut.

Carved cresting to hood. Slide-up hood.

Date about 16S0.

Figs. 396 and 397.

THOMAS TOMPION, LONDON.

(Thomas Tompion, Londini, Fecit.)

S-day Striking Clock ; water-gilt dial.

Finely pierced and carved hands.

Oak case veneered with burr walnut.

Carved cresting to hood. Slide-up hood.

Date about 16S0.

pendulum, has a swing occupying one second of time to accomplish, no matter whether the arc be wide or narrow. The clock, therefore, merely registers, in seconds, minutes or hours, the number of the oscillations of its pendulum. In long-case clocks, where the pendulum is of seconds' length or longer, and where the arc of swing is restricted by the inside width of the case, and has to be narrow in consequence, the escape-wheel is placed vertically, and what is known as the " anchor " escapement, sometimes as the "recoil,"-—is adopted. In bracket-clocks, where the pendulum is short, and the degree of swing immaterial, the escape-wheel, especially in early examples, is

Thomas Tompion

Fig. 398 and 399

JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

(Joseph Knibb, Londini, Fecit.)

Month Striking Clock, striking on two bells on Roman numeral system (see text). Hour and minute circles solid silver. Water-gilt dial and corner pieces. Exceptionally delicate hands. Oak case veneered with ebony m raised panels.

Date about 1695.

Fig. 398 and 399

JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

(Joseph Knibb, Londini, Fecit.)

Month Striking Clock, striking on two bells on Roman numeral system (see text). Hour and minute circles solid silver. Water-gilt dial and corner pieces. Exceptionally delicate hands. Oak case veneered with ebony m raised panels.

Date about 1695.

usually placed horizontally, the rod or " arbor " attached to the pendulum having two checks, which engage, in turn, with the teeth of the escape. This is known as the " crown-wheel " or " verge " escapement. The difference in the motive power between the bracket clock and the long-case is, that in the former there is no room for the fall of weights, and a spiral spring is placed in the barrel, which is coiled up when the clock is wound, and uncoils, gradually, as the clock runs clown. The barrel is connected with its " fusee " by a gut line, and the function of the fusee is to equalise the pull of the spring, which would otherwise be more

Fig. 400.

JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

S-dav Clock. Oakcaseveneered with ebony, brass capitals and bases to hood ; water gilt. C ft. 2 ins, high.

powerful when fully wound than when nearly run down. (See Chapter IV, " English Domestic Clocks.")

With this brief explanation we can dismiss the clock mechanism, and turn to the visible part, the dial. The earliest long-case dials up to about 1715-20 are always square, measuring 10 ins. in the very early examples, 11 ins. up to about 1700, and from thence to about 1720, 12 ins. After about 1720 the arch dial comes into fashion, the square form being made only by small country makers. The arched dials vary from 12 ins. across to as much as 18 ins. in the case of the gigantic Yorkshire clocks.

In the attempt to give a rational account of English domestic clocks, and one which shall be of value to the collector, it is only possible to illustrate those specimens which are representative of their fashion or period. It would be both a waste of time, and highly misleading, to describe those examples which are merely late repetitions of early types, although it must not be forgotten, that, especially in the case of long-case clocks, such specimens abound, the work of small provincial makers working in a bygone fashion. With this stipulation in mind, we can proceed to our examination of the dials of long-case clocks of the late seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries.

Types of Loxg-Case Clock Dials Fashions in long-case clock dials do not appear to have obtained until about 1670. Fig. 389 is a Fromanteel dial of about 1660-5, and is, perhaps, the very earliest type which was made. The clock, being one-handed, -having no minute-hand motion-work,- has the hour circle divided into quarters on its inside edge, with no minute divisions on the outside. The spandrels of the dial are without any ornamentation, and the hand is a development from the simple spade-form of the earlier lantern-clock. See p. 341 for illustrations of lantern-clock hands. The clock is a thirty-hour- -a train of three—but with a key-winding action and a striking train. Fig. 390 shows the clock case itself, , of simple panelled form, ebony veneered 011 oak, with the capitals

Figs. 401 and 402.

DAN QUARE, LONDON.

Month StrikingClock. 2 bells. Striking on the Roman numeral s3"stem as in Figs. 399 and 406. 12-in. dial. Date about 1O95-1700. James Stuttard. Esq.

and bases of the columns, on either side of the hood, silvered. As a comparison Fig. 391 shows the late single-handed dial of a thirty-hour clock of about 1740-50, which has, in many respects, the appearance of an early example. With these late degenerate types, however, the details are a mere jumble, and the latest characteristics establish the date. Thus in this specimen the pierced hand is of the 1730-40 pattern, if we disregard the projecting tail on the other side of the collet, and the brass spandrel-corners are even later. The clock has no visible winding-holes, and is, therefore, wound by pulling up the weights by cords or chains, in the old lantern-clock style ; an infallible sign, in a long-case clock, of a degenerate type. It is a depraved example, and is only illustrated here to show the differences between an early clock and one of later date but apparently early character. It is hardly necessary to point out that these clocks are worthless to the collector.

An early dial, which is quite typical of its period is illustrated in Fig. 392. The spandrel corners are engraved--a fashion which preceded that of the separately attached brass corner-pieces- and the hour circle is narrow, the numerals squat, and the minute divisions are on the extreme outer edge of the circle. This latter detail is an almost infallible indication of an early clock. The hour-hand is finely pierced and carved, the dial centre beautifully " matted," and the exact attention bestowed, by the leading makers, on apparently trifling details is shown by the fact that the two hands just reach their relative devisions on the circle, the quarters on the inside and the minutes on the outside, without trenching a fraction of an inch beyond. The clock is an eight-day

Fig. 403. BACK PLATE OF MOVEMENT.

  1. 404. DIAL OF CLOCK.
  2. 403. BACK PLATE OF MOVEMENT.
  3. 404. DIAL OF CLOCK.

Fig. 405 SIDE VIEW OF MOVEMENT.

Fig. 405 SIDE VIEW OF MOVEMENT.

Figs. 403 to 406. JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

8-day Ebony Bracket Clock. Striking on 2 bells in the Roman numeral fashion. Date about 1695.

Richard Arnold, Esq.

striker, and the dial has the simple refined character which is inseparable from a fine early specimen. Edward East was a noted maker, the Court Horologist to Charles II.

The next example, Fig. 393, illustrates the next development, the provision of a subsidiary dial to mark the swings of the pendulum, or, in the case of a pendulum of seconds length -39-1393 ins. -the seconds themselves. In this clock the pendulum is of 1] seconds length 61-155 ins. and the subsidiary dial, although numbered from 1 to 60, has only four divisions between each numbering of 5, 10, 15 and so on. The engraved corners, as in the East dial, are here replaced by- brass-w mged cherub heads, and in early clocks, by renowned makers, these corners will always be found finely chased, and frequently water-gilt. This clock is by William Clement,—the first maker who adopted the " anchor" escapement,- and the name is signed " Gulielmus Clement, Londini, Fecit," across the bottom of the dial, in the usual fashion of that date. I am indebted to Mr. Malcolm Webster for permission to use this photograph again,—it is illustrated in Fig. 84 of " English Domestic Clocks,"—and also the four preceding examples in this chapter.

WTilliam Clement's dials are always characterised by quiet refinement of style. From Mr. Wetherfield's unique collection the next example is taken, in character very similar to Fig. 393. Both have the long 61-inch, ij seconds length pendulum, the subsidiary dial having forty-eight divisions only. Fig. 394 differs from Fig. 393 in being a month movement, and possessing the maintaining-pouer of the kind known as the bolt-and-shutter. Some descriptive detail may be of service here. In the matter of duration between windings, we know that an eight-day clock, with a seconds pendulum,—i.e. 39-1393 ins. in length, — has a train of four wheels from main to escape. Clock \\ heels are geared together by means of teeth and pinions,

Fig. 407. JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

Month Striking Clock with skeleton-dial. 6 ft. S ins. high, io-in. dial. Date about 1685-95.

  1. A. F. Wetherfield, Esq.
  2. 407. JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

Month Striking Clock with skeleton-dial. 6 ft. S ins. high, io-in. dial. Date about 1685-95.

the former, on the periphery of the wheel, engaging with the latter, attached horizontally to its "arbor" or shaft. A wheel-motion, therefore, from left to right, communicates itself to the next in order, in the opposite direction. This is apparent to anyone acquainted with cog-and-pinion, or cog-to-cog gearing, and must be evident to the untechnical on a moment's thought. We see, therefore, that the seconds finger, which is attached directly to the arbor of the escape-wheel, must move with it, and in the same direction, and this motion must be from left to right. The next, or third wheel, therefore, moves from right to left, the next, the centre wheel, from left to right, and the last, or main wheel, from right to left again. To the arbor of this main w heel the winding square of the going train is attached, and in winding we merely reverse the going of the wheel, compensating for a fall of eight days of the gut line from which the weight depends, by some ten or twelve turns of the winding-key from left to right. Now with a month clock there is an additional wheel, between the centre and main wheels, to provide the extra gearing for the additional duration, and one wheel at one end of the train must have its motion reversed. We cannot reverse the escape wheel, as a seconds finger moving round its dial from right to left would look absurd, therefore it must be the main wheel which must have this reverse motion, and, in winding, the key must be turned from right to left, instead of the usual left to right as in the case of an eight-day clock with a seconds pendulum. This is a rough-and-ready method of detecting a month-clock, but this will not apply to a clock with a pendulum shorter than seconds length, as the going train may, and probably does, consist of a greater or lesser number of wheels than four, and the absence of a seconds dial and finger removes the objection to the escape-wheel having a reverse motion.

The second point to be explained is the maintaining-power device before alluded to. It must be obvious that as the motive power of a clock, of the kind we are considering, consists in the fall of a weight, when we wind the clock we lift this weight with the winding-key, and the power is temporarily removed. A long pendulum will usually7 swing through this period by its own momentum, but the clock, especially if it be finely

Fig. 408. JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

S-day, 2-beII Striking Bracket Clock, with skeleton, minute-numbered dial. Date about 16S5.

Fig. 408. JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDON.

S-day, 2-beII Striking Bracket Clock, with skeleton, minute-numbered dial. Date about 16S5.

adjusted, will not keep time during the period of the winding. The margin of error will be very slight, but the old clockmakers prided themselves on the accuracy of their clocks, and to overcome this defect the maintaining power was adopted. This provides a pulling-string or a depressing lever, putting in operation a spring, which acts on the going train, thereby driving the clock by spring-power during the period while the driving weight is being lifted on the winding-key. To ensure that this spring-power shall be used without any option on the part of the person winding the clock, shutters are provided in front of the winding-holes- which in some measure protect the clock from dust—and these shutters can only be opened for the winding of the clock by putting the maintaining power into action, either by pulling a string or depressing a lever. In Fig. 394 the winding square is hidden by this shutter. (The clock, being a non-striker, has only the one winding-hole.) The dial measures 10 ins. square, and the train has been " planted" to occupy part of the space which would have been required for a striking train. Fig. 395 shows the clock in its case, the latter being of oak veneered with burr walnut. The hood has no door, and is made with grooves in the back to slide up for winding, a click-spring being provided to hold the hood up during this operation. This is the usual device with early long-case clocks.

Fig. 396 is a Tompion dial of the same early date, measuring only 9J ins. square, and with the refined narrow hour ring of that period. The hands are exceptionally delicate, and the dial-plate is water-gilt, in a similar manner to the Clement dial, Fig. 394. Fig. 397 shows the case, of simple burr-walnut veneer, the only extra embellishment being the carved cresting to the hood. It will be observed that these early clocks, of superfine quality, were rarely put into elaborate cases. I do not think that Thomas Tompion ever had a marqueterie case made for any of his

AN EXAMPLE OF A SQUARE-DIAL CLOCK IN A VENEERED WALNUT CASE OF GOOD PROPORTIONS AND WITH ITS CORRECT BASE. 1700 type.

JOSEPH KNIBB, LONDINI, FECIT.

8-day Clock, in oak case veneered with English walnut, quartered ard cross-banded.

6 ft. o ins. total height, qJ ins. width of waist. The carved pediment and central ball are typical of the early cases of Tompion and Knibb.

The dial of Fig. 161, signed on bottom edge " Joseph Knibb ; Londini ; Fecit."

Back view of clock movement, showing the pendulum, which is of seconds length (39.1393 ins.) and its " butterfly " nut on the rod for extra regulation, in addition to the nut shown in Fig. 165.

Date about 1690.

Richard Arnold, Esq.

" Grandfather" movements. Walnut or ebony veneer, the cases either plain or panelled, and sometimes, as in this example, a carved cresting to the hood, were the only enrichments he appears to have tolerated. He evidently regarded, -and rightly too, -

the clock itself as being r.

the main point of interest, and all elaborations of detail, finish and v orkmanship were lavished on the dial and the mechanism behind it. The next two examples, shown in Figs. 398, 399 and 400, clocks by Joseph Ivnibb from Mr. Wetherfield's

BACK VIEW OF THE CLOCK (FIG. 161).

Showing the outside locking plate and extra adjusting] nut over the pendulum suspension.

BACK VIEW OF THE CLOCK (FIG. 161).

Showing the outside locking plate and extra adjusting] nut over the pendulum suspension.

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