A highly important, recently discovered, English ebony bracket clock attributable to Ahasuerus Fromanteel
Surmounted by a gilt brass cherub prancing on his left leg, a quiver of arrows at his waist and with his right arm held aloft (originally carrying a bow), set on a gilt brass pierced fish-scale caddy top set on a stepped base and flanked by four gilt brass ball finials set into ebony plinths (one plinth replaced) with long integral cast pins, on an intricately moulded cornice and plain frieze supported on four gilt brass-mounted Corinthian columns on matching bases to a moulded plinth, on a further base board on four gilt brass squat ball feet. The front and side doors all mounted with ribbon tied floral swags (the front door centred by an additional, later, foliate boss). The exterior surface of the back of the case is not veneered and now has an (18th century?) sliding oak cover set into a pair of runners nailed on to the backboard.
In order to wind the clock, the front door is opened via a brass square accessed through an aperture in the lower part of the right hand side door. Turning the square with a winding key lifts a long pivotted latch that releases a hasp in the front door which is hinged at the left hand side. In order to open the left hand side-door, it is necessary to depress a sprung brass button set in the wooden mask above the 11 o'clock position. All latches appear to be original. Each of the three doors is pinned at the top and hinged at the bottom, the lower hinges are each screwed into the bases of the columns through the bottom of the case, their terminals left proud on the underside.
the single sheet of brass measures 8.25 inches square, is covered with (replacement) dark velvet, and is set to each corner with a gilt brass winged cherubs head spandrel secured by a single screw from the rear and located against a pin rivetted to the dial plate just behind the cherubs' top tress of hair. The chapter ring is of gilded brass and is fixed via four dial feet. It is engraved with an outer minute track, each five minutes marked in Arabic numerals, with Roman hours and an inner quarter-hour track, the half-hour markers consisting of three small balls in a trident form. When found just a few weeks ago, the clock had a shaped engraved brass signature plaque glued on to the velvet, signed, 'LeNoir E AParis', set just above the small rectangular date aperture. This has since been removed from the dial but is included with the lot.
The hands are of gilt brass and are extremely delicately shaped (the minute hand with old repair to lowermost section). The dial is secured to the movement via four latched dial feet. On the back of the dial, the rear of the centre hole is set with two later brass spacers indicating where the shutters for the bolt and shutter maintaining power were originally pivotted (see Dawson, Drover, Parks, Early English clocks, Woodbridge 1984, plate 145 for a similar set-up on a clock by Johannes Fromanteel, plate 97 is also cited for a similar example by Ahasuerus)
With split front plates and eight latched, knopped and finned pillars. The backplate plain. Each fusee and barrel of different size, but both with gut line. The going train fusee driving a (replaced) intermediate wheel in order to give eight day duration to the (converted) verge escapement. Evidence suggests that the escapement was originally a tic tac. Striking in the Dutch manner, with the hours repeated on a smaller bell at half past the hour, the bells set vertically on steel stands, one on the frontplate and another on the back. The strike regulated by a solid countwheel mounted on the backplate, the pump for the two hammers of a highly unusual design, using a pivotted vertical arbor mounted on the frontplate 52cms (20.5ins) high.
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