130
Joseph Knibb
A SMALL SILVER-MOUNTED EBONY ROMAN STRIKING TABLE CLOCK, LONDON, DATED 1677
Estimate
600,000900,000
LOT SOLD. 1,273,250 GBP (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT
130
Joseph Knibb
A SMALL SILVER-MOUNTED EBONY ROMAN STRIKING TABLE CLOCK, LONDON, DATED 1677
Estimate
600,000900,000
LOT SOLD. 1,273,250 GBP (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The George Daniels Horological Collection

|
London

Joseph Knibb
A SMALL SILVER-MOUNTED EBONY ROMAN STRIKING TABLE CLOCK, LONDON, DATED 1677
6-inch latched velvet-covered dial with silver winged cherub spandrels and chapter ring, the centre with circular foliate pierced and engraved plaque signed Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit, two train fusee movement with five latched baluster pillars, tic-tac escapement and striking  the roman notation on two bells, the backplate signed Joseph Knibb Londini Inventit and Fecit Anno Domini 1677, further decorated with engraved sprays within a wheatear border, numbered count wheel, the domed case with carrying handle and pierced frets, the corners with ball finials, the front door with winged cherub escutcheons
28.5cm. 11¼in. high
dated 1677
London
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

This clock is sold with an undated  type-written statement, photographs and other paperwork from John Philip Beckett detailing that this clock was given to his Great Grandfather, Thomas Beckett by King George III for loyal and devoted service as surgeon to the Grenadier Guards from 1794, surgeon to the Savoy from 1809 and as a life long friend.

Literature

Dawson, Drover & Parkes, Early English Clocks, Pgs. 329-331, Plates 478 & 479 and Colour Plates 18-20

Catalogue Note

Joseph Knibb, the most famous and inventive member of the celebrated Knibb clockmaking family was born circa 1640. He was apprenticed to his cousin Samuel in about 1655 and after serving seven years worked first at Oxford and then moved to London in 1670 where he was made Free of the Clockmakers' Company. He must soon have built up a good reputation for himself as it is recorded that he supplied a turret clock for Windsor Castle in 1677 and payments were made to him in 1682 on behalf of King Charles II.

No other maker produced such an intriguing variety of striking and repeating mechanisms and perhaps the most interesting of these is the Roman system employed in this clock. It is an ingenious method of accurately sounding the hours by a smaller number of blows than the conventional system. Two bells are used, the smaller of which indicates the Roman I as displayed on the dial and the larger bell the Roman V. The Roman X is indicated by two blows on the larger bell. The greatest number of blows struck at any hour is four at 8 and 12 o'clock. The advantage of the Roman system is that the clock has to make only twenty-six blows in twelve hours compared with seventy-eight blows on a conventional clock. The numeral for 4 o'clock, on a Roman striking clock, is shown as IV, requiring only two blows, rather than the more usual IIII. Knibb may have had some difficulty persuading his clients to accept this form of striking as examples are rare and the notation is, at first, confusing.

Clocks by Knibb with velvet dials and silver mounts are extremely rare and this example has almost every desirable feature being particularly small, having Roman striking, tic tac escapement and a most interesting inscription which could refer to either or both the striking and escapement.

Towards the end of the 17th century Joseph Knibb moved to Hanslop in Buckinghamshire. A few clocks with the Hanslop address are known but by the early years of the 18th Century Knibb had virtually retired; he died in December 1711.

The George Daniels Horological Collection

|
London