Michael Knight of London. A grotesques marquetry pattern long case clock featuring a 30 day duration movement.

This fine case exhibits excellent proportions. This example stands approximately 92 inches tall and is approximately 19.25 inches wide at the widest molding on the hood. The dial is approximately 12 inch square. This clock was made circa 1690.

The case is constructed in oak and is decoratively veneered in richly figured walnut. This case also features a highly complex inlaid decoration that is called marquetry. This complex inlay pattern and was all the rage in London during the period of 1690 through 1725 in long case design. Separate pieces of wooden veneer, often colored, are laid out in decorative patterns. This example features numerous floral patterns, full bodied figures including Father Time or Cronus, birds, moths, acorns and vines are laid out on the forward facing surfaces of the case including the moldings. This is truly an exhibition of skill. This pattern is categorized as “grotesques” marquetry. Please note the uneven surface of this design caused by the shifting of the oak substructure and the shrinkage of the veneer. This is a tell tale sign that this case has age and is not a reproduction.

This fine example stands flat to the floor on an applied molding that is attached to the base. The single step molding transitions the case off the floor. The base is somewhat compressed as compared with long case clocks of a latter period. The waist is long and narrow which highlights the excellent proportions of the case. The waist door is quite large and fills the waist section. It is trimmed with an applied molding and also features a circular cut out in the center. This circular opening is trimmed with a brass ring and is fitted with glass. This window measures just over four inches in diameter and is called a “Lenticle.” Its purpose is to allow one to view the motion of the brass faced pendulum bob with out having to open the door of the clock. It also informs the admirer that this clock is fitted with a long pendulum which was considered somewhat new technology for the day. The sides of this case are decoratively finished. They are horizontally veneered in walnut and features line inlaid panel design. This was the tradition of many London cabinetmakers. The bonnet or hood is designed with an inverted bell or caddy top. Below this is a pierced frieze or blind fret, a boldly formed hood molding and an additional section of blind fret-work. Large rectangular glass side lights are positioned on each side of the hood. The squared hood door is fitted with three-quarter Doric columns. These and the quarter Doric columns located at the back of the case terminate in brass capitals.

The twelve inch square dial is brass and features applied decorations in the form of spandrels, time ring and seconds ring. The engraved chapter ring frames the matted center on the dial. This center section is textured in an attempt to make the finely formed steel hands more visible when viewing the dial. The month calendar and the subsidiary seconds dial are located here. The seconds hole and both of the winding holes are decorated with ring turnings. The applied time ring is engraved with an interior minute ring, Roman hour numerals, a separate minute ring located on the out side of the hours and five minute markers which are an Arabic form. The time ring along with the seconds ring and calendar are silvered. This clock is signed on the lower section of this time ring by the Maker along with his working location. It reads “Mic Knight London.” Four heavily cast brass twin cherub and crown spandrels are applied to the corners of the dial. The dial sheet is also decoratively engraved with a herringbone pattern around the perimeter of the dial. Grotesque masks are engrave in this pattern and are located at 30 and 60 minute positions.

The weight driven movement is constructed in brass and is designed to run thirty-days on a full wind and to strike each hour on a bell which is mounted above the movement. This is considered a “long runner.” The standard is a duration of eight days. The plates are supported by five ring turn and finned pillars. Two of these retain their locking devise of a slide latch that is located on the front plate. Two of these latches have been replaced with screws. The escapement is a recoil design and features a seconds length pendulum. The strike train is regulated by a count-wheel that is mounted on the backplate. Both winding barrels are grooved. The two weights are cased in brass. Overall, this movement is excellent quality. The fact that it survives today in excellent working order is proof of this.

This clock was made circa 1690. This clock is inventory VV-112.


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