wizard automaton clock with westminster chimes (c. 1875 England)

wizard automaton clock with westminster chimes
Title wizard automaton clock with westminster chimes
Country of Origin England
Dated c. 1875
Medium ebonised
Condition very good
Dimensions 67.30cm high (26.50 inches high)
Status SOLD

Derek Roberts.Mstery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks. Back Cover and page 213
See for video of this clock

Description / Expertise

D278. A very rare automaton clock surmounted by a young wizard with tall conical hat
who holds a hammer in his right hand, with which he sounds out the quarters on four bells(Westminster chimes)housed in a decorative gilded cradle in front of him; moving his hand to the left or right and up and down so that he always hits the correct bell. The wizard also simulates striking the hours but in practice these are struck by a gong and hammer inside the clock. Surrounding him is a gilded gallery whilst to either side of the body of the case are fluted and gilded columns.

Between the body of the clock and the base, which rests on tiered and gilded feet, is a decorative mould. The solid silver dial, a sign of the expense put into the production of this clock, has black roman numerals whilst to the centre is gilded fret-work.

The massive and finely constructed three train movement has very thick brass plates and employs two particularly fine mainsprings of even strength for each of the three trains, ie six in all.. Each pillar is both screwed in and pinned, something we cannot recollect having seen before. The cost, skill and ingenuity involved in the production of this clock must have been of a very high order.

We had one virtually identical clock through our hands maybe 15 years ago which we illustrated on the back cover of our book on Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks and also on page 213 and a second one with a plainer case came up for auction in The States some years later. The stand on which the clock rests is of recent manufacture.

The photographs of the movement were taken prior to restoration..

Height 26.5" (67.3cms.) £45,000.

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