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weight-driven clock / night clock / eight-day clock

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1980,1002.1

  • Escapement

  • Description

    WEIGHT-DRIVEN EIGHT-DAY LONGCASE NIGHT CLOCK IN A WALNUT AND FLORAL MARQUETRY CASE. : Eight-day night clock; weight-driven movement with four wheels in the train; anchor escapement and seconds pendulum; time can be seen at night or in poor light by lamp shining through the pierced numerals and minute marks; lamp sits on shelf behind movement; succession of pierced Arabic hour numerals pass behind a pierced lunette which is cut in the upper section of the dial; these numerals pass pierced minute marks on upper edge of lunette, thus indicating the minutes; quarters are shown by pierced Roman numerals I, II and III; setting square is at centre and winding square at bottom of dial. TRAIN-COUNT. Gt wheel 120 2nd wheel 80/10 3rd wheel 72/8 Escape wheel 30/6

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  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1671-1677 (The movement.)
    • 1680-1690 (The case.)
  • Production place

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 204 centimetres
    • Width: 44 centimetres
    • Depth: 24 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        dial
      • Inscription Content

        Eduardus East Londini
  • Curator's comments

    Text from 'Clocks', by David Thompson, London, 2004, p. 78.
    Edward East
    Longcase night clock
    London, c.1685
    Height 204 cm, width 44 cm, depth 24 cm
    The popularity of ebonised architectural longcase clocks in London was short-lived. By the mid-1670s they were more commonly housed in cases of walnut, sometimes beautifully inlaid with marquetry designs, both geometric and pictorial, consisting of intricate inlays of coloured woods and ivory. The fashion for furniture decorated in this manner had come across the English Channel from the Netherlands, and it is not surprising to find that clock cases should be decorated en-suite to match side-tables and bureaux of similar style.
    Such clocks were produced by nearly all the London makers and Edward East was no exception. This example by him has been recently restored and shows well the beautiful effect produced by using different colours to stain the woods and bone to produce inlays of flowers and birds. Many cases of this type unfortunately have stood for centuries in full sunlight and have no colour left, whereas here the original effect is still quite clear. The walnut panel for the door has ebony moulding around the outside and a lighter surround enclosing two panels of flowers. Similar decoration is used on the front of the plinth.
    The hood, which lifts up to enable winding, has ebony twist pillars at the sides that twist in opposite directions and taper towards the top to provide an elegant frame for the dial, which is engraved all over with a fine design of flowers. In the upper part of the dial is a semicircular aperture that reveals a disc behind, in which are two holes. The holes each reveal a numeral pierced in a series of twelve plates, one for each hour. The chain and plates are carried round by a ten-sided wheel and the sequence of plates is arranged with every fifth plate anti-clockwise being the next number. As the wheel revolves, so each number is successively positioned behind the holes in the revolving disc to present itself through the aperture. The quarters are pierced I, II, and III in the fixed dial plate and the minutes are indicated by serrations in the upper edge of the aperture. At night an oil lamp inside the clock would be lit to illuminate the time through the numerals and pierced calibrations.
    It is also worth noting that there is no striking mechanism in this clock: owners of a bedroom clock did not wish to be disturbed from their sleep by the loud clanging of a bell at every hour.
    Purchased in 1980.

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  • Bibliography

    • Thompson 2004 p.78 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G39/od

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1980

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1980,1002.1

WEIGHT-DRIVEN EIGHT-DAY LONGCASE NIGHT CLOCK IN A WALNUT AND FLORAL MARQUETRY CASE. : Eight-day night clock; weight-driven movement with four wheels in the train; anchor escapement and seconds pendulum; time can be seen at night or in poor light by lamp shining through the pierced numerals and minute marks; lamp sits on shelf behind movement; succession of pierced Arabic hour numerals pass behind a pierced lunette which is cut in the upper section of the dial; these numerals pass pierced minute marks on upper edge of lunette, thus indicating the minutes; quarters are shown by pierced Roman numerals I, II and III; setting square is at centre and winding square at bottom of dial.   TRAIN-COUNT. Gt wheel 120 2nd wheel 80/10 3rd wheel 72/8 Escape wheel 30/6

WEIGHT-DRIVEN EIGHT-DAY LONGCASE NIGHT CLOCK IN A WALNUT AND FLORAL MARQUETRY CASE. : Eight-day night clock; weight-driven movement with four wheels in the train; anchor escapement and seconds pendulum; time can be seen at night or in poor light by lamp shining through the pierced numerals and minute marks; lamp sits on shelf behind movement; succession of pierced Arabic hour numerals pass behind a pierced lunette which is cut in the upper section of the dial; these numerals pass pierced minute marks on upper edge of lunette, thus indicating the minutes; quarters are shown by pierced Roman numerals I, II and III; setting square is at centre and winding square at bottom of dial. TRAIN-COUNT. Gt wheel 120 2nd wheel 80/10 3rd wheel 72/8 Escape wheel 30/6

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