John Ellicott II London, England. An impressive tall case clock. AAA-28

This formal inlaid mahogany longcase clock is constructed on a grand scale. It measures a full 102 inches or 8 feet 6 inches tall. The double break-arch bonnet houses a composite brass dial that is signed “Ellicott / London.” 

Ellicot is listed in Brian Loomes’ “Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World” as working before 1757 through 1783. The city of London had been the leading center of clockmaking for more than half a century. As a result, clocks made there were of the latest style and often of the best quality. The Ellicott family of clockmakers was certainly on the leading edge of that trend.

This case is a fully developed London form. This case is built to a larger scale and features masculine proportions. All three case sections, the base, waist, and hood, are nicely appointed with decorative architectural details and inlays. The quality of the mahogany selected for the construction of this case is first-rate, and much of it is vibrantly grained. This cabinet is elevated off the floor on four boldly formed ogee bracket feet. The form is quite good, having a nicely shaped knee and an aggressive spur return. The feet are applied to the bottom of a traditionally formed double-stepped molding. An applied panel with olovo corners is featured in the center of the base. This panel is formatted with a crotch mahogany veneer positioned in a horizontal orientation. The veneer is first framed with a cross-banded mahogany border that follows the shape of the applied moldings that trim the panel. The relieved corners of the panel are decorated with inlaid quarter fans. The four individual blades are shaded and have a three-dimensional appearance. The waist section is long and narrow. It is flanked with brass stop fluted quarter columns that terminate in brass quarter capitals. The quarter columns are positioned on inlaid plinths. The plinth design features a figured selection of veneer that is framed with a cross-banded border. A tombstone-shaped waist door provides access to the two brass-covered lead drive weights and the brass-faced pendulum bob inside the case. An applied molding trims this door and frames the crotch mahogany veneer selected for this location. This door is also cross-banded. Above the door are two additional quarter fans. These are constructed with six individual shaded blades. The bonnet or hood is designed with a complex arch molding. This high-style decorative London element incorporates several arch moldings, a frieze panel, and inliad floral patterns at the corners. Three fluted finial plinths are mounted at the top of the case. Each supports a brass urn and spike finial. Large rectangular-shaped sidelights are fitted with glass and positioned in the sides of the hood. Brass stopped fluted bonnet columns are mounted in brass Doric-shaped capitals, and they flank the arched formed bonnet door. This door features a cross-banded framing and is fitted with glass. It opens to access the brass composite dial. 

This dial is wonderfully cleaned and restored. It is composed of a brass base sheet that is decorated with a number of decorative elements. Four cast corner spandrels frame the applied time ring. There are two additional spandrels in the arch. These center a circular ring that is engraved Silent / Strike. The steel pointer hand rotates to one of these two positions. One would use this hand to turn the strike part of the clock mechanism on or off. The time or chapter ring features five-minute Arabic-style markers, a closed minute ring, and large Roman-style hour numerals. Inside this ring, the dial surface has been textured. Here one will also find a display for the calendar day and an inset subsidiary seconds dial. This dial is also engraved. The Clockmaker’s name is engraved on the chapter ring. It reads.” Ellicott – London. “The hands are wonderfully hand filed. The skill exhibited here is very high. 

The two-train movement is brass, eight-day duration, and of good quality. As is the London tradition, five turned pillars or posts support the two large cast brass plates. The plates are an unusual shape. The form can be considered an inverted "T." Hardened steel shafts support the polished steel pinions and the brass gearing. The works incorporate a deadbeat escapement and a rack and snail striking arrangement. This clock strikes each hour on a bell mounted above the works. The winding drums are grooved to accept the weight cords in an orderly fashion. All of this is powered by two brass-sleeved weights. The movement is secured to a wooden seatboard that sits on the rails of the case. The pendulum hangs behind the mechanism from a bridge. A brass-faced lead bob is at the bottom of a metal rod.

This clock was made circa 1775 and is approximately 102 inches or 8 feet 6 inches tall to the top of the center finial. The bonnet molding is 20.25 inches wide and 9.75 inches deep. English clocks of this quality are a treat to see.

This fine clock is inventory number AAA-28.

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