English Musical clock with automata. (c. 1770 England)

English Musical clock with automata.
Title English Musical clock with automata.
Country of Origin England
Dated c. 1770
Classification JOHN PARKES OF LONDON (worked c.1760-1780)
Signed/Inscribed/Dated Jn Parkes London
Condition Very good.
Dimensions 53.30cm high (20.98 inches high)
Status SOLD
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Derek Roberts.Exhibition catalogue of Mystery, Novelty and other fine and rare clocks. Nov/Dec 1999.
Derek Roberts. Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks. P. 206.
Richard Barder. The Georgian Bracket Clock. Pages 96-97.

Description / Expertise

D238. A fine musical clock with moving figures in the arch, signed on a silvered plaque above the bottom winding hole Jn Parkes London, circa 1770.

The impressive ebonised case has a bell shaped top with a brass plate and carrying handle and further brass-work between the convex and concave moulds and at the base. There is a floral mount to the front of the bell top which has pineapple finials to the four corners.

The canted front and back corners of the case have caryatids to the top half and floral decoration below. To the top of the sides are circular glasses surrounded by brass moulds and below matching rectangular glasses with a concave upper border.

The front door has small brass frets to the top corners and the dial has what might be termed a flat topped breakarch with a beautifully executed scene in this of a sculptors workshop where four automata craftsmen are seen to be working. Below this is a relatively conventional layout with floral spandrels and a raised silvered chapter ring with roman hour and arabic minute numerals. The dial centre is well matted ; there is a mock bob in the upper half of the dial and a date aperture above 6 o'clock. The base of the case is again brass bound and rests on substantial bracket feet.

The three train gut wound fusee movement with verge escapement, plays(very well) one of two tunes at each hour on eight bells with fifteen hammers, followed by the hour strike. A repeat cord is also provided. There are five movement pillars and the backplate is smothered with fine floral engraving.

Ht with/ without handle 21"/19.” ( 53.3/48.2cms).
Similar clocks are to be seen in:-
1/ Derek Roberts. Exhibition catalogue of “Mystery, Novelty and other fine and rare clocks.
Nov/Dec 1999.
2/ Richard C. R.Barder. The Georgian Bracket Clock. 1714-1830. Pages 96-97.
3/ Derek Roberts. Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks. Page 206.

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