Phase III Ebonised Timepiece Repeating Table Clock by Joseph Knibb.
A very fine clock by this master of English clock making.
Movement: The 8-day single fusee timepiece movement with original verge knife edge escapement and brass rod short bob regulated pendulum. There are five latched bulbus pillars to hold the movement together, with a beautifully engraved rectangular back plate signed “Joseph Knibb Londini fecit”. The pull repeat feature strikes the hour on the larger bell and quarters struck on the smaller bell.
Case: The case is of ebony veneer over an oak carcase with typical Knibb foliate-tied gilded handle, finished with Knibb S-scroll and mask escutcheons to the glazed lockable front door, pierced ebony silk backed sound fret above with rectangular glazed sides, sound frets and lockable glazed back door.
Dial: The 6 ½” square gilt brass dial with finely matted centre and signed “Joseph Knibb London” to the lower edge. Four chased gilt winged cherub spandrels in each corner of the dial plate with a silvered engraved chapter ring and typical Knibb style fleur-de-lys half hour divisions, Roman numerals to mark the hours and Arabic numerals for five minute markers. The clock also boasts its beautiful original blued steel hands.
- Currently – Private collection, UK
- Purchased at auction 2010 for £36,000
- The Knibb Family Clockmakers by R. A. Lee
Height: 13 ½” or 34cm (Handle up)
12” or 30.5cm (Top of case)
*This clock is delivered and set up for free within the UK. We regularly ship clocks all over the world with our approved and well-established Antiques and Fine Art Packers & Shippers. Please ask for a quote should you require this service.
Joseph Knibb – B.1640 – D.1711
Joseph Knibb was one of the most celebrated clockmakers of his day and was highly admired by Charles II for whom he made several fine clocks.
Joseph was apprentice to his cousin Samuel Knibb in 1655 at Newport Pagnell and after his seven year apprenticeship he then moved to Oxford in 1662, whilst Samuel moved to London the same year. It was far from an easy move, when he arrived in the city he was thought of as a foreigner by the freeman traders of the city who objected to his presence. It is thought that he traded without permission until upon payment of a fine in 1668, he was then free to carry out his business without hinderance. It was at this time he was most interested in the development of the anchor escapement and seconds pendulum for timekeeping accuracy.
In 1670 he moved to London, this could have been because of his accurate clocks or it could possibly be to do with Samuels death. Either way, immediately after setting up business in the city he was granted the freedom of the Clockmakers’ Company. He was quick to become established in London with a very distinctive style along with several notable inventions. Quite apart from producing work of consistent high quality, Joseph was imaginative, inventive and had an excellent eye for proportion. He had many apprentices and was elected as Steward of the Clockmakers’ Company in August 1984 and then Assistant in 1689.
By the time he retired in 1697 his business is believed to have made over four hundred clocks, proving that he was an illustrious businessman during his time in London. He retired to Hanslop where he still made clocks, only not on such a large scale. He died in December 1711.
Many collectors aspire to “one-day own a Knibb” and with this being a timepiece, it is a rather inexpensive way of achieving such an honour. It is also an ideal investment that you can really appreciate simultaneously.
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