Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.
Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.

Tompion timepiece with pull quarter repeat circa 1686.

c. 1686 England

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THOMAS TOMPION TIMEPIECE with pull quarter repeat on two bells. Circa 1686.

A small ebony veneered spring timepiece signed along the bottom of the dial and on the backplate ‘Thomas Tompion Londini Fecit.’ It has been examined by Jeremy Evans who has written the recent book on Tompion and thinks it is number 59 and has listed it as such. It has a gilt carrying handle, floral mounts to the caddy top, a cast brass fret to the top of the front door and decorative keyhole escutcheons to the front and back doors. The sides of the case are glazed and it rests on gilt brass bun feet.

The typical Tompion movement with verge escapement and bob pendulum repeats the quarters and hours on two bells employing a centrally pivoted bar so that repeat cords may be provided to either side. The six ringed plate pillars are latched as also are the dial feet. The backplate, which is attractively decorated with tulips, has a cutout for the hour bell. The top corners are champhered and it is larger than the front plate, virtually occupying all of the available space within the case. This is thought to be to prevent access to the movement from inexperienced hands.

The dial, some 6 ⅜" square, has a matted centre, a silvered chapter ring with half hour marks and winged cherub spandrels. There are finely executed blued steel hands. On the back of the dial are scratched three repair marks; 1732 ( new line fitted ), 1820 and 1868.

Height with / without handle :- 13.5" / 12"

Similar clocks are to be seen in R.W.Symonds ‘ Tompion Tompion. His Life and Work’:-
Figs. 114, 115, 116-118 and ( cases ). 174 & 176. Also :- Jeremy Evans ‘ Thomas Tompion at the Dial and Three Crowns’. Figs. 51 and page 68 ( left ).


PROVENANCE.

This clock has an interesting history and research into this is still continuing. It was in the collection of George Dunn, who is thought to have had over 100 clocks, five of which were by Tompion, including the year duration walnut longcase which was made for the Duke of Cambridge. It is hoped that in due course a full list of all his clocks may be obtained. When Dunn died this clock was disposed of at auction, selling to a Mr Michael Murphy for the sum of 45 guineas. His address was The Army & Navy Club, 36 Pall Mall, so one assumes he was, at that time or had been in the Army or Navy. Further details of Mr Murphy may emerge in due course.

George Dunn, whose interests, besides horology, included arboriculture and astronomy, was probably best known for the very fine library he created. His main interest was in early English Law books, including volumes from unusual towns and presses, and early stamped bindings. Following his death the library was broken up by Sothebys and sold off between 1913 and 1917, realising the very substantial sum of £ 30,000. What his clock collection fetched we do not, at present know.



It was in 1881 that Dunn bought Wooley Hall, the country estate of Sir Gilbert A Claydon Bart, a property which has an interesting history going back to the early 13th century when it was owned by the Forrester family. It was here that Dunn built up his collection of books and clocks.

Besides Wooley Hall Dunn owned two estates in the north of England which he had inherited from his father.



Since this description was written, extensive research on the provenance of the clock has been undertaken and a much fuller account is now available upon request.





Excellent
R.W.Symonds Thomas Tompion. His Life and work.Figs 114,115,116-118 and 174,176.
Jeremy Evans "Thomas Tompion at The Dial and Three Crowns" Fig 51 and page 68 (left)
Dimensions
Height 34.00 cm (13.39 inches)
Width 30.00 cm (11.81 inches)
Signed/Inscribed
Thomas Thompion Londini Fecit.
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