An historically important year duration longcase clock  Daniel Delander, London
Lot 120W
An historically important longcase clock of one year duration and with equation of time subsidiary dial Daniel Delander, London
Sold for £30,000 (US$ 38,240) inc. premium

Lot Details
An historically important year duration longcase clock  Daniel Delander, London Daniel Delander, a unique year duration longcase clock in mahogany case Daniel Delander, a unique year duration longcase clock in mahogany case Daniel Delander, a unique year duration longcase clock in mahogany case
An historically important longcase clock of one year duration and with equation of time subsidiary dial
Daniel Delander, London
Now contained in a 19th century custom made mahogany case surmounted by three ball and spire finials over reeded columns and a tapering trunk of good colour and figuring, on a panelled base with double apron, the arched brass dial measuring 7 and 3/8ths of an inch wide by 10 and 13/16ths high set to the arch with a tapered aperture entitled 'Tabula Aequationis' with four concentric bands giving the date, month, and time difference (ranging from 16 minutes slower in late October to 15 minutes faster in early February), flanked by a pair of double-screwed mounts cast as young Jupiter astride an eagle, holding a thunderbolt in his hand, over an applied silvered nameplate flanked by apparently unique spandrels depicting well cast female heads within a lambrequin under an acanthus mount, the lower two interspersed with the engraved place name 'London', the silvered chapter ring with outer Arabic minutes set around a minute track with half-quarter marks set into the track, the Roman hours interspersed with lozenge half hour marks, with inner quarter hour track to a finely matted centre with chamfered date aperture, the movement plates measuring 6 and 1/4in by 4 and 15/16ths of an inch united by six knopped and finned pillars, all latched to the frontplate, the barrel of 13 turns to a great wheel and a further five wheels, all of six crossings, terminating in a delicate 'scape wheel polished steel A-framed pallets to a steel crutch and brass-rod pendulum with brass covered bob with engraved rating nut 1.96m (6ft 5in) high.


  • Provenance:

    The Wetherfield Collection of Clocks.
    Sothebys, New Bond Street: Property of a Lady, 15th December 1983 lot 239
    Sothebys, New Bond Street: Property of Viscount Hereford 13th October 1988, lot 176.

    Bruton, The Wetherfield Collection of Clocks, NAG Press, 1981, figure 184 (and detail).
    Britten, Old clocks and watches and their makers, 6th edition, Wakefield, 1971, Figure 790.
    Evans, Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns, Ticehurst 2006, page 111.

    Comparative Literature:
    Robinson, The longcase clock, Woodbridge, 1981, Figure 8/17.

    Daniel Delander was born circa 1678 and at the age of fourteen was apprenticed to Charles Halstead of London. Daniel must have shown aptitude as he later transferred to Thomas Tompion, the finest clockmaker of his day. He was freed in July 1699 and worked at Devereux Court. In 1712 he moved to a house between the two Temple Gates in Fleet Street but within two years was 'within Temple Bar'. He is believed to have died in 1733. There are elements of his Masters work in this clock such as the chamfered minute-wheel cock mounted on the frontplate, the fully latched movement and dial, and the exquisitely worked hands.

    Delander is perhaps best known for his series of longcase clocks in which he uses the duplex escapement. It was through these clocks that he first used the shallow arch, a feature used later in the century by makers such as Mudge and Dutton, William Allam and Gravell and Tolkien (see lot 121)

    His output is far more wide ranging than just these duplex clocks, however. His work can often show a highly individual character. A silver mounted three-train ebony bracket clock by him is illustrated in Dawson, Drover and Parkes, Early English Clocks, Woodbridge, 1982, Plate 585 that shows his apparently unique method of securing the movements of his bracket clocks into their cases by the use of a single bar of engraved brass running the full width of the movement. It is in details like this that Delander proves that although he worked with the best, he was confident enough to initiate and employ his own ideas and designs. An extraordinary barometer by him was sold in the Samuel Messer sale at Christies, 5th December 1991, lot 15 and in the same rooms, a month-going ivory mounted astronomical longcase with equation of time dial was sold 11th December 2002, lot 80.

    The case that houses this movement is of fine quality and probably dates from the latter half of the 19th century. It is easy to assume that the original case has been lost, but it is also quite possible that this movement was never in a traditional floorstanding case. Thomas Tompion supplied a pair of year duration clocks to the Octagon Room at Greenwich in 1676 which were built into the wall of the building. These clocks would have been very well known throughout the London and interational scientific society and it is not inconceivable that an enthusiastic astronomer or 'gentleman scientist' commissioned Delander - who had worked with Thomas Tompion, of course - to create a year-going clock for his private observatory or study, built into the wall just like at the Octagon Room. The very small size of the dial, at just under seven and a half inches, also points to this clock being a commissioned item as most 'stock' dials at this time would have been around 12 inches wide. The latinised title to the equation dials allows the clock to be used with ease by any non-English speaking scientist or astronomer.
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