Thomas Hadwen of Liverpool, England. A FOUR Tune Musical and Striking Long Case Clock. XXSL47

This is a fine mahogany case tall clock with molded arch bonnet and brass dial signed “Hadwen – Liverpool.” This is a musical clock that plays one of four tunes and features three separate trains.

Brain Loomes lists the Hadwen family of clockmakers in his book, “Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World.” Based on the dates provided. We believe that this clock was made by either Isaac (II) born 1723 or his brother Joseph born 1725. Both men were the sons of Isaac (I) born 1687. The family moved to Liverpool in 1737 from the parish of Tunstall in Lancashire. Isaac II worked in Liverpool from 1745 through 1767 and became a prosperous clockmaker and merchant.

This mahogany constructed case exhibits wonderful figured mahogany wood selections throughout its construction. It is very high quality. They are positioned as such to attract ones attention. The base is elevated up off the floor on a nicely shaped double stepped bracket molding. This is applied to the base. A figured panel is fitted to the center of the base section. This panel is framed with an applied molding. The design or shape of this panel features reliefed or cut out corners. The waist section is long. The front corners are fitted with brass stop fluted quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. The tombstone shaped waist door fills the waist section. This door is also trimmed with an applied molding. Through this door, one can access the three brass covered drive weights and the pendulum. The arch bonnet form is fitted with three brass ball finials. The sides of this hood is constructed with viewing windows. The pattern used here is unusual and more traditionally found on bracket clocks of the period. A long rectangular shaped window is topped by an additional circular window above it. Both openings are fitted with glass and allow one to view the complex clock mechanism. Quarter columns are positioned in the back corners of the hood and are mounted in brass quarter capitals. Brass stop fluted bonnet columns are mounted in brass Doric shaped capitals and they flank the arched formed bonnet door. This door is fitted with glass and it swings opens to allow one access to the dial.

This 14 inch brass is very well made. It is a composite dial. A sheet of brass forms the shaped and the structure. An unusual feature is the half round piping that trims the perimeter. This is applied and pinned in placed. The cast spandrels are very good quality. The two located in the arch are the very popular dolphin form. The four that frame the time ring are a version that features the head of a cherub and its wings. The time ring, the subsidiary seconds dial, the calendar date and the tune selector in the lunette have been treated with a silver wash in order to achieve a contrast with the yellow brass details of the dial. The time ring features large Arabic style five minute markers, a closed minute ring and large Roman style hour numerals. This clock is signed on the time ring at the bottom. The signature reads, “Hadwen – Liverpool.” Inside this ring is the subsidiary seconds dial and the calendar display window. The inner surface of the dial is matted and decorated with floral engravings. All three winding holes are decorated with ring turnings. In the arch is the tune selector. This clock plays one of four tunes each hour. One selects the tune by moving the steel hand pointer to the tune you desire. The tunes include, 104 Palms, Lady Coventrys Minuet, Harvest Home and The Happy Clown. At least two of these tunes became popular in England during the period of 1750-60. The interior of this ring is also mated and decorated with engravings. All four hands are steel and well made.

The movement is substantial. The amount of additional work required to manufacture a musical clock is substantial. Clocks mechanisms like this one were constructed by request on special order. The patron most likely also had a had a say in the tunes that the clock played. This clock plays one of four tunes each hour. The tune is selected by turning the selector hand in the lunette. The power is provided by a very heavy weight. In fact three weights are required to run this clock effectively. This is a three train clock. The two large brass plates are supported by six turned and shaped pillars. The brass gearing and the polished steel pinions are supported on hardened steel shafts. The escapement is designed as a recoil format. The winding drums are grooved. The time train is located in the center of the works. The strike train is located on the left and features a rack and snail actuator. This is designed to strike each hour on a large cast iron bell that is mounted above the movement. The musical train is located on the right. A precisely planned out and pinned drum rotates on the hour. The pins lift the levers that actuate the hammers that in turn will strike the bells. There are sixteen hammers. The hammers strike one of eight bells that are mounted above the pin barrel in a nesting arrangement. The hammers are doubled in order to strike the notes more quickly. This is an eight-day movement and needs to be wound weekly.

This clock was made circa 1760. It is approximately 91 inches tall to the top of the center finial. At the upper hood molding it is 22.25 inches wide and 10.5 inches deep.


For more information about this clock click  here .