Antique bracket clock by Benjamin Barber, London
Antique bracket clock by Benjamin Barber, London
Antique bracket clock by Benjamin Barber, London

BENJAMIN BARBER OF LONDON (worked c.1780-1790)

Antique bracket clock by Benjamin Barber, London

c. 1770 to c. 1775 London

Offered by Raffety Ltd

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This is a very rare musical clock by Benjamin Barber,London. The elegant mahogany case has a bell top and reeded chamfers to the sides with a brass moulded base and ogee bracket feet. The arched door is bound with a brass moulding, and there are well cast brass sound frets to the front. The whole case has richly, figured mahogany veneers.

The 8-day triple fusee verge movement strikes the hours on a single bell, and plays one of five musical tunes on twelve bells. The arched dial has a matted brass centre, gilt foliate corner spandrels, inset datework and the maker's signature on an inset disc below XII. The whole back plate is most beautifully engraved with flowers and foliage which are repeated on the fixing brackets and the cocks. There are two subsidiary dials: chime/not chime to the left and the tune selection dial on the right for the following five tunes: A Country Dance, Queens minute, Miller of Mansfield, A Jigg and Warwick Lad.

The 'piece de resistance' is the beautifully painted arch with its moving automata. It shows a scene of country dancers and courting couples with a whistle blowing musician waving a baton. As the clock strikes and the music plays on the hour, a figure goes up and down the steps to the rotating wind mill and a courting couple appear in the doorway of the thatched cottage. In the upper window of the cottage there is a voyeur looking down on the scene.

Benjamin Barber was active in London in the last third of the 18th century. He made a number of fine musical clocks, often for the Turkish market. This clock is especially rare having both a musical train and automata.

The Three Georges: Clockmaking in Hanoverian England 1714 - 1820 (2014)
Height 25.00 inch (63.50 cm)
Width 13.50 inch (34.29 cm)
Depth 10.00 inch (25.40 cm)
Stock Code
1770 to 1775
Raffety Ltd

Raffety Ltd
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