A late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case The dia
Lot 139
A rare late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case. The movement backplate engraved by Graver 155. The dial and movement by Daniel Quare, London, circa 1693 the associated case circa 1750
Sold for £13,200 (US$ 22,186) inc. premium
Auction Details
A late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case The dia A late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case The dia A late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case The dia A late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case The dia
Lot Details
A rare late 17th century bracket clock movement and dial now contained in a mid 18th century case. The movement backplate engraved by Graver 155.
The dial and movement by Daniel Quare, London, circa 1693 the associated case circa 1750
The 6.5 inch square brass dial with four subsidiaries for rise and fall regulation, strike/silent and pendulum hold anchorage ("Pen:looce/Pen Fast" sic), interspersed by engraved foliage and applied quarter spandrels, signed in copperplate script D Quare, London just inside the minute track of the silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring between VII and V, the matted centre with ringed winding squares and decorated apertures for the mock pendulum and date apertures, now fitted with an engraved arch with wheatear border enclosing foliate scrolls, the twin gut fusee movement with thick plates united by six knopped and finned pillars, fitted to the upper right hand corner with an additional engraved brass plate to hold the large steel rise and fall arm, and to the lower half with the brass and steel outside clicks, the verge escapement rack striking the hours on a bell, (quarter repeat now removed), the backplate engraved all over with a full series of intermingling foliate scrolls and a running drapery of harebells across the upper section, signed 'Daniel Quare London' in an oval cartouche in the centre, now contained in a second half of the 18th century ebonised case with shallow inverted bell top surmounted by a handle and four cone finials , over canted angles with female term mounts to a plinth base and block feet, the underside of the seatboard with two applied watchpapers "Mortimer and Son, Knaresborough" and J.Mortimer, FBHI, Ripon" and a further handwritten text "1849 Lught in Gra.? HJZ?" 49cm (19in) high.

Footnotes

  • This is the earliest of a small group of 8-day bracket clocks by Daniel Quare whose dials have subsidiary rings in all four corners. A closely comparable example is in the Noel Terry Collection at Fairfax House, York, and other similar examples were sold by Sotheby’s, London, 9:12:1968, lot 193, and 28:6:1974, lot 161.

    The back-plate engraving is by the hand which Evans (Jeremy Evans, Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns, AHS, Ticehurst, 2006) has ascribed to Graver 155 – so named because Tompion clock number 155 is the earliest example to display this engraver’s work. This is the hand which was responsible for perhaps the best-known of all clock plates – the fine front-plate of the famous Mostyn Tompion, now part of the horological collection at the British Museum. The engraver often incorporated dolphin heads into the design but not, it would seem, in the later examples. As this example does not incorporate the dolphins it is likely to be from the artist’s later period, c.1692-4.

    The arch was certainly added to the dial at a later date – perhaps c.1740-50 – and this, of course, necessitated the provision of a new case. It is not inconceivable that the arch and the new case were fitted in London, but the presence of an inscription on the bottom of the seat-board encourages another suggestion. The inscription, 1849 Lugt in gra[?] […………?], is probably in an eastern European hand, and the baroque style of the arch engraving, as well as the case design, with brass bezels, could easily be mid European (Austrian?) of c.1740-50. Late 19th century labels stuck to the bottom of the seat-board show that the clock was later in Yorkshire – it was repaired by W Mortimer & Son, Market Place Knaresborough, and by J Mortimer, FBHI, 18, Kirkgate, Ripon.

    Daniel Quare (c.1649-1724) was one of London’s leading clock- and watch-makers during the last quarter of the 17th century and the first quarter of the 18th, the sheer scale of his output being second only to that of Tompion. His most significant contributions were his watch repeating mechanism, famously preferred over Tompion’s design by James II, thus stifling Barlow’s application for a patent, and his production of a portable barometer, for which he himself was granted a 14 year patent.

    Quare might have hailed from Somerset but nothing has been discovered of his upbringing or apprenticeship, the earliest record of him being his admission to the Clockmakers’ Company in London, as a Brother, on 3rd April 1671. He was living in the parish of St. Martin-le-Grand in the mid-1670s but by 1681 was in Allhallows Lombard Street. By 1686 he had made the important move to the heart of the city - Exchange Alley in the parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, taking over the premises formerly occupied by Robert Segnior. Apart from the flourishing business he is believed to have successfully speculated in stocks and funds. His sign was “The King’s Arms” and his neighbours were a vintner and a confectioner.

    He was also an important member of the Quaker community, but his Quaker beliefs often brought him into conflict with the authorities on account of his refusal to pay tithes, and goods of greater value than the tithe would be seized from him. Matters were eased by the Toleration Act of 1689 and he later served the Parliamentary Committee of the Meeting for Sufferings. His inability to swear an oath prevented his acceptance of the privileged post of King’s Watchmaker, but he nevertheless enjoyed royal patronage. In 1691/2 he supplied William III with a repeating watch costing £69 17s 6d, and at Hampton Court a fine 10-feet year-going walnut solar/mean-time longcase clock still stands in William’s bedroom. He is also known to have supplied a small dual balance or pendulum controlled travelling clock (at Windsor) and three barometers (two of which are at Hampton Court).

    At Friends House is a paper by Quare explaining why he turned down the invitation of George I to become King’s Watchmaker. George told him that he could call to see him at any time and, accordingly, the Yeoman of the Guard at the Back Stairs let him “frequently go up without calling any body for leave as otherwise is usual, tho Persons of Quality”. He also noted that in forty years he had served “men of the Greatest Rank of most other nations in Europe, as well as this Nation”.

    Quare later took into partnership his former apprentice Stephen Horseman who had married his niece Mary Savage in 1712. Towards the end of his life he retired to Croydon where he died, aged 75, on 21st March 1724; he was buried at the Quaker Burial Ground, Bunhill Fields, on the 27th. Horseman continued the Exchange Alley business until he was declared bankrupt in December 1730, whereupon Richard Peckover is believed to have taken over the goodwill.

    We are grateful to Jeremy Evans for compiling this footnote.
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