Joseph Knibb - A fine and rare late 17th Century bracket clock
Lot 96
A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial Joseph Knibb London
Sold for £153,600 (US$ 248,756) inc. premium

Lot Details
A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial Joseph Knibb London A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial Joseph Knibb London A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial Joseph Knibb London A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial Joseph Knibb London A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial Joseph Knibb London
A very fine and rare late 17th Century 'Phase One' ebony veneered Dutch striking bracket clock with silver skeletonised dial
Joseph Knibb London
Surmounted by a typical facetted 'hipped' handle secured within brass bands set into the top of the low caddy, to an intricately moulded cornice over rectangular glazed side panels on a moulded plinth base to squat brass feet, the eight inch square gilt brass dial signed along the lower edge 'Ioseph Knibb, London' and set with four well cast and finished winged cherubs head spandrels enclosing the silver skeletonised chapter ring with each minute numbered around the outer edge, bold Roman numerals and tall feur de lis half hour marks, the centre very finely matted and gilt and with blued steel hands, with pinned dial feet to the movement united by six knopped and ringed pillars all latched to the frontplate, with twin gut fusees and verge escapement, the Dutch striking effected via a numbered countwheel mounted on the backplate and sounding on two hammers and bells, the backplate signed in copperplate script 'Joseph Knibb, Londini Fecit in an upward arc accompanied by an engraved floral scroll terminating in two flowerheads, the countwheel with similar floral decoration to the centre, the whole secured into the case via a pair of semi-circular turnbuckles behind the dial and a pair of polished steel securing brackets at the base of the movement 40cms (15.75ins) high.

Footnotes

  • This clock has been in the same family for nearly 90 years. It was purchased from W.A.Watkins on the 12th October1923. The vendor's grandfather kept a record of his purchases and highlights are summarised below. It is clear that the purchaser had a keen eye for 'golden age' English horology. More recently, the clock was overhauled in the late 1990s

    "J.Bayley timepiece . Purchased 1913, Denman & Son.
    Daniel Quare walnut longcase clock (ex Wetherfield Collection). Purchased 1918
    Conyers Dunlop,bracket clock. Purchased 1919, T. Layman Ltd. London
    Joseph Knibb quarter striking clock. Purchased 1923, W. A. Watkins. London
    Congreve skeleton clock. Purchased 1930
    Edward East Charles II Olivewood longcase clock. Purchased 1933, Mallett & Sons
    Thomas Tompion bracket clock. Purchased 1937, Mallett & Sons.
    George Graham lantern timepiece and alarm. Purchased 1938, Clowes & Jauncey. London
    Daniel Delander walnut repeating bracket clock. Purchased 1939, D.J. Parks & Sons."

    Joseph Knibb was born in 1640. It is assumed that he served his apprenticeship under his cousin Samuel Knibb in Newport Pagnell from 1655 to 1662. He began his independent career working just outside the City of Oxford, but by the mid 1660s had moved within its jurisdiction. There was some initial resentment to his becoming Free of the City and it was only through the support of the University, where he matriculated as a gardener, that he was granted Freedom in 1678 on payment of a fine of 20 nobles and a leather bucket.

    In 1670 Joseph moved to London, this was the same year that his past Master, Samuel who had moved to the capital in 1662, died, and it was natural that Joseph should carry on the family firm. At this time of the very early years of the pendulum clock, London provided a wonderful opportunity for an ambitious young man with an inventive horological brain. By 1677 he had earned such a reputation that he was commissioned to supply a turret clock for Windsor Castle. More royal work followed and in 1682 Knibb was paid for work carried out for Charles II. He took on nine apprentices, including John Drew in September 1676 and Brounker Watts in January 1684. He was Assistant to the Clockmakers Company in 1689 and is well recorded in the Companys accounts until 1697 when he retired to Hanslop. He died in December 1711.

    Josephs work is often considered more delicate than his contemporaries such as Tompion and the skeletonised chapter ring, fine matting and well executed hands on this clock support this view. The skeletonised chapter ring was expensive to make and was reserved for his finest clocks, Ronald Lee illustrates two 'Phase One' examples with month duration movements in 'The Knibb Family Clockmakers', plates 74 and 76. A Phase Two case with skeletonised dial and alarm was exhibited in 'Horological Masterworks' at The Museum of the History of Science, March - June 2003, item 40.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this lot is quarter striking not Dutch striking.
Auction information

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