A fine example of a later longcase clock by Joseph Knibb, featuring a rare 12” dial, one of only 5 understood to be known of. Both movement and case dating to C.1695-1700, although this case is not characteristic of the style associated with Knibb and his earlier style of longcases, it is very much the style of this period, coming towards the end of his working life before he moved to Hanslop.
Movement: The 8-day weight driven clock movement held together by five latched pillars with anchor escapement, seconds pendulum and regulated with the distinctive Knibb butterfly rating nut. The strike train uses a count wheel outside of the back plate to know which hour to strike the bell on the hour.
Case: The beautiful walnut veneered case of excellent proportions really shows off Knibbs eye for detail. The carcass of the case being oak features fine walnut veneers to both sides of the trunk, similarly to the lockable trunk door which also features feather banding around its edge. The base is also veneered to match standing upon a double plinth.
The hood features a lovely fret moulding above the glazing for the dial accompanied by two walnut columns to either side. So often these cases can be wholly ruined by over restoration. This particular case has been looked after very well and has not suffered such fatal detriment.
Dial: The 12” square gilt brass dial is simply elegant and understated with fine matting and an English Rose engraving to the centre and date aperture below. A patinated silvered chapter ring surrounds the matting (This can be restored if required) with Roman numerals depicting the hours, Arabic five minute markers and trident half hour markers, Knibbs fat-head cherub spandrels to each four corners of the dial plate which is engraved Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit to the lower edge. Finished with some beautifully sculpted finely blued original steel hands.
- Currently – Private collection, UK
- Previously – Private collection, Scottish Boarders
- The Knibb Family Clockmakers by R. A. Lee
Height: 82 ¼” or 209cm
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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 – of which this particular clock is a fine example of his efforts.
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.
J. C. Collection
The J. C. Collection is one mans collection of fine antique clocks based in the county of Bedfordshire.
A highly respected horologist and a Fellow of The British Horological Institute, James has held many horological positions of high esteem working for contracts with H. M. Government to the The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
For more information about any of these clocks or to view the collection, please contact James on:
Telephone: 01525 221165 – Mobile: 07790 000629 – Email: email@example.com