This very fine and possibly unique clock by Samuel Aldworth is one of the finest clocks ever to have borne the name of John Knibb’s right-hand man. Encased within one of the finest Burr Walnut veneered cases, this breath-taking clock of not only month duration, but also built in such an un-orthodox way in order to achieve a seconds dial within the break arch of the dial plate.
This clock encapsulates Samuel Aldworth’s finest workmanship, it is most likely that Aldworth is showing off his own ideas and showcasing his skills in his own right.
Dial: Possibly one of the most interesting parts of the dial comes in the form of the break arch, very rarely indeed do you find a seconds subsidiary dial in this position and in order to do this takes a great amount of skill. Not only this but also boasting two other subsidiary dials to depict month of the year including signs of the Zodiac to the left and days of the week also incorporated by the Zodiac signs to the right. To the centre of the dial behind the finely blued steel hands there is a matted centre with date aperture below the XII and signed in a cartouche Sam Aldworth at Childrey from London above VI. The silvered chapter ring with Roman numerals for the hour and Arabic five minute numerals, also featuring fleur-de-lys half hour and diamond half-quarter markers. The dial is finished with beautiful cast and chased Indian mask spandrels. The complete dial measures 12” by 17” to the top of the break arch.
Movement: This stunning clock movement of month duration features the escape wheel towards the top of the extended plates for the raised anchor escapement powered by a contrate wheel to show the seconds on the break arch of the dial. This large impressive movement is held together by six latched baluster pillars. The strike train operates via the rack and snail striking system, striking hourly to a substantial bell. There is also a rather complex system behind the dial to run the month and day of the week subsidiary dials.
Case: An extremely fine Burr Walnut veneered case with an oak carcass. The hood with brass stop fluted walnut columns to either side of the line inlaid hood door with a moulded break arch and topped with three gilt ball finials. The trunk features some of the finest choice veneers also with line inlay to match around the door including the raised panel to the base stood upon a single plinth.
Height: 90.5″ – 7ft 6.5″ – 230cm
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- Currently: Private collection, UK
- Bought to accompany Ebonised Bracket Clock by Samuel Aldworth
- We understand that this clock is of such importance that the case and movement were split during World War II and moved out of its residence in London in order for the clock to avoid the blitz. It is understood that the case went to Gloucestershire and the movement to somewhere near Cornwall. It was not until 1952 the clock was then reunited with one another.
- The Knibb Family Clockmakers by R. A. Lee
Page: 19, 23 & 165.
The cartouche on the dial of this clock pretty much tells you the full story about the man.
From Childrey, Buckinghamshire originally, he went to Oxford in 1673 to be John Knibbs most notable apprentice. He went onto not only be an apprentice of John Knibb but also on completion of his apprenticeship in 1680 he stayed on as his assistant until 1689 when he was made a freeman of the city of Oxford and subsequently started his own business in the city.
In 1697 Aldworth became a Brother of the London Clockmakers’ Company and moved to an address in The Strand. This may not be such a coincidence bearing in mind his connection with the Knibb family of clockmakers, being that this same year Joseph Knibb left London. He then married Elizabeth Knibb in 1703 (believed to be John Knibbs daughter) and they continued the business in London before moving back to Childrey C.1720. It is understood that Samuel Aldworth died shortly after C.1725.
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