Sussex Saleroom: 14th, 15th, Thursday 16th May 2019
FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE LATE PROFESSOR HANS VON BERTELE
A RARE AND UNRECORDED SILVER-METAL-MOUNTED EBONISED QUARTER-REPEATING AND STRIKING TABLE CLOCK
The dial and movement signed Daniel Quare, London, circa 1710, the movement attributed to the late Tompion/early Graham workshop, the replica case second half 20th Century
The domed-top case surmounted with a knopped baluster handle, and applied with foliate cast repoussé panels, the rectangular door, inset with a glazed panel, flanked by two shaped escutcheons and outlined with an arched beaded profile, flanked with a pair of cast and pierced spandrels, the sides each with an arched, pierced panel, with metal bead outline, with glazed back door, also with metal bead outline, on silver-metal gadrooned feet, the fire-gilt break-arched dial signed Dan. Quare LONDON in an oval cartouche amongst a design of profuse engraving, surmounted by a mask of Mercury, the messenger, wearing his winged helmet and with crossed attributes of the Caduceus and horn below, surrounded by ribbon-tied foliate scrolls, with calendar aperture above, flanked to each side by a silvered subsidiary for pendulum regulation and strike/silent, above a silvered chapter ring, blued steel hands, Roman chapters and Arabic five-minute markers, well divided with inner 15-minute divisions and outer 12-minute divisions and Gothic cross half-hour markers, with finely pierced cast spandrels, enclosing a finely matted centre, with false pendulum aperture; the twin train fusée movement, of phase two type, with profusely engraved backplate within an outlined border, signed in an oval cartouche Dan. Quare LONDON, with fruit-filled scrolls to top and base, flanked to each side by a winged female caryatid, amongst foliate scrolls, with seven knopped latched pillars, rack strike, with pull-quarter repeat on Tompion's system via double-cocked interconnected blued-steel levers, with pivoted verge escapement and scrolled-foot bell stands, the front plate with chamfered cusp feet to the cocks
The late Professor Hans von Bertele (d. 1984), then by direct descent.
Previously unpublished and unrecorded, this clock belongs to a group of seven table clocks, each signed and retailed by Quare, but whose movements are likely to have come from either the late Tompion/early Graham workshop, or from the workshop of one of their employees.
The movement displays several features that allow this attribution - notably the robust construction, the repeating mechanism with its double-cocked arms on the back-plate, its cusped cocks, and the finishing, which is of the highest standard. The beautifully engraved back-plate, with naked winged female caryatids, is by Graver 195, who has been tentatively identified as Henry Adeane.
The group of Quare Tompion clocks are illustrated, described and discussed in Richard Garnier and Jonathan Carter's The Golden Age of English Horology, Masterpieces from the Tom Scott Collection, Winchester 2015, pp. 286-295. There is variance between Tompion's known workshop practice and the group of seven: for instance, the group each have four pinned dial feet, whereas Tompion would use three feet, each latched. On this piece there are four latched dial feet. Another variance is that the dials on the group of seven all incorporate Quare's Indian mask spandrels, whereas this dial does not.
These details, together with the fact that Tompion and Graham never used arched dials for their standard two-train striking clocks, all help confirm that Quare provided the dials and cases for these movements.
Jeremy Evans has proposed that a possible candidate for this output was James Tunn (see Garnier and Carter, p. 295). He was bound to Ambrose Gardner in the Goldsmith's Company and would have been free around 1689. He was listed close to Quare's Exchange Alley premises in the early 1690s, and it has been suggested that he might have been working for him as a journeyman. In October 1697 he had his own business in Ely Court near Hatton Garden and it is likely he would have been one of the principal clock outworkers supplying Tompion. A clock by Tunn (Sold Christie's, New York, 23 April 1988, lot 35.) is illustrated in Richard Barder The Georgian Bracket Clock, Woodbridge 2001, colour plate 1, p. 50. The similarities between the dial illustrated by Barder, and the dial of the clock being offered here - they are almost identical with fine engraving and fire gilding - strongly suggests that they came from the same - ie Tunn's - workshop.
Professor Hans Bertele von Grenadenberg (d.1984) was born in Austria. During the second half of the last century he formed a collection of clocks which comprised the best examples of work from England, France, Switzerland and Austria, amongst others. Highly respected in his field, he wrote prolifically and published learned articles in Antiquarian Horological Journal and The Horological Journal, amongst others. He was also an avid art collector, whilst professionally he was an industrial electrical engineer. His book on chronometers, first published in Munich in 1981, with an English language version published 10 years later, is a standard work.
Richard Barder, The Georgian Bracket Clock, Woodbridge 2001.
Richard Garnier and Jonathan Carter, The Golden Age of English Horology, Masterpieces from the Tom Scott Collection, Winchester 2015.
Antiquarian Horology, September 1982, Guy Boney, Tompion-Quare Collaboration, pp. 462 - 466.
Jeremy Evans, Jonathan Carter and Ben Wright, Thomas Tompion 300 Years, Stroud 2013.
Richard Garnier and Leo Hollis, Santon 2018, Innovation & Collaboration, The early development of the pendulum clock in London, No. 117, p.378.