A superb William & Mary brass mounted, striking ebony basket top bracket clock by Jacobus Hassenius, London. The stunning case surmounted by a twin-dolphin handle on, the pierced basket with cherubs supporting a garland of fruit below a winged cherubs head, with four cast tapering finials over a narrow moulded cornice. The door and all other sides brass mounted, at the bottom a further moulding above brass bun feet. The five finned and knopped pillar, twin fusee movement with verge escapement, profusely engraved floral backplate, with engraved back cock and makers cartouche “Jacobus Hassenius, Londini” to the centre. The seven inch square brass dial with winged cherubs head spandrels flanking a strike/not strike lever and silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring, the matted centre with ringed winding squares and decorated date aperture.Jacobus Hasseniues was a Russian emigré, originally a watchmaker in his home country, was made a Free Brother of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in Jan 1682/3. Hassenius returned to his native Russia in 1698. The fact that his departure was in the same year that Peter the Great visited London is unlikely to be a coincidence. Peter the Great was interested in scientific and technological development, visiting the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and the Royal society amongst others. In 1698 Hassenius was granted a warrant " to pemit J. Hassenius to export to Muscovy for the use of his Imperial Majesty the Czar of Muscovy 13 clocks , 3 large or long clocks, a great table clock and some tools his majesty bought in the Strand ". Undoubtedly Hassenius' experience of working in London would have been highly valuable to the Tsar and Hassenius would have been obliged to return to his homeland. Peter the Great returned to Russia with some 60 master craftsmen from London, including Hassenius, who reportedly then found it very difficult to leave Russia in later years.
Excellent. The movement has been serviced, minor restorations to the case, waxing. With restored verge escapement and now lacking quarter pull repeat mechanism.
Private collection London.
English, William & Mary, circa 1690. “Jacobus Hassenius” is listed by Baillie’s Clockmakers of the world as free of the clockmakers company in 1682. Maker to the Tsar or Russia.