- Museum number
Long-case clock; year-going with calendar and equation dial in door of the trunk; long hand on this dial makes one revolution a year and indicates the month and date smaller hand moves to and fro in an arc of about 180 degrees and indicates the equation of time; small dials above the chapter-ring are for the day of the week and regulation; walnut case with turned columns and moulded borders to domed hood; door with moulded brass bands and mounts to corners chased with grotesque masks, foliage and strapwork and key-hole escutcheon chased with mask; rectangular base with brass scroll feet and overlaid with brass repoussé plaques decorated with winged masks, strapwork, entwined snakes and swags of fruit; domed hood surmounted by three spherical and obelisk finials.
Gt wheel 96
2nd wheel 96/12
3rd wheel 92/10
Centre wheel 60/10
5th wheel 56/8
Escape wheel 30/8
- Production date
Height: 9.83 feet
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'Clocks', by David Thompson, London, 2004, pp.94-97.
Year-going longcase clock
London, c. 1710
Height 296 cm, width 66 cm, depth 38 cm
Standing at nearly ten feet high, this year-going longcase clock by Daniel Quare is of massive proportions and clearly destined for an impressive setting. The walnut case has plain columns with gilt-brass capitals and plinths and the top of the hood is domed in an inverted bell shape, topped by three large sphere and obelisk finials. The front door of the hood has a moulded gilt-brass bezel to retain the glass and the door is unusually enhanced with gilt-brass bands around the outside and with grotesque masks, foliage and strapwork mounts in the corners. Even the keyhole escutcheon is chased with a mask. The large rectangular base has brass scrolled feet and the lower front and side panels are overlaid with brass repoussé plaques, decorated with winged masks, strapwork, entwined snakes and swags of fruit.
The main dial is of standard design with subsidiary dials at the top; the left-hand dial showing the day of the week, the right-hand dial for rise-and-fall regulation. Apart from the size of the clock, perhaps the most interesting feature is the dial in the trunk door, which has the inscription, 'The long Hand is 365 Days in going Round and points the Days of the Months. The Hand with the Figure of the Sun shews how many Minuts (computed from the Cypher under 69) a true Sun Dial is Faster or Slower than this Clock, the Sun dayly varying from equal Time'. Thus, there are two hands on this dial, the longer of which makes one revolution in a year and indicates the month and date. The smaller hand moves back and forth through an arc of about 180 degrees to indicate the equation of time. Incorporated in the upper part of the main dial decoration is a shield with an unfinished and poorly engraved royal coat of arms, which has led some authorities to suggest that the clock has a royal provenance. It would seem more likely that these arms are a later attempt to enhance the clock's value, possibly as late as the early twentieth century.
Daniel Quare, a Quaker born in 1647, was admitted as a Free Brother in the Clockmakers' Company in 1671 and served as master in 1708. He later refused the office of Clockmaker to George I as his religion precluded him from swearing an oath of allegiance to the crown. His most famous surviving work takes the form of a gold pair-cased quarter-repeating watch made in 1687, now in the Ashmolean Museum collections. This watch is very likely the one which he submitted to James II and which gained the King's favour over a rival watch made by Thomas Tompion to Edward Barlow's design. Quare's clocks and watches are characterized by their high quality but, with the exception of his repeating mechanism for watches, he cannot be seen as an innovator. Quare continued in business on his own until about 1715 when he took Stephen Horseman into partnership. He died in Croydon in 1724 and was buried in Bunhill Fields in London. The business was then carried on by Horseman until bankruptcy befell him in 1733.
While the clock is signed on the dial, 'Daniel Quare, London', it is likely that the clock movement is the work of another hand. In 'Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society', XXX (1720), there is a report of a letter in which Joseph Williamson asserted his right to 'the curious and useful Invention of making clocks to keep time with the sun's apparent motion'. In the communication Williamson makes the following claim to the invention and making of clocks showing true solar time and points out that he made such clocks for Daniel Quare from about 1700 onwards. He said:
"And in the first place I must take notice of the Copy of a letter in this Book, wrote by one P. Kresa, a Jesuit, to me Mr Williamson, Clockmaker to his Imperial Majesty: of a clock found in the late King Charles the Second of Spain's Cabinet, about the year 1699 or 1700 which sheweth both equal and apparent Time according to the Tables of Equation, and which went 400 days without winding up. This I am well satisfied is a clock of my own making; for about six years before that time, I made one for Mr Daniel Quare, for whom I then wrought mostly, which agrees with the Description that he gives of it, and went for 400 days. This clock Mr Daniel Quare sold, soon after it was made to go to the said King Charles the Second of Spain: and it was made so that if the Pendulum was adjusted to the sun's mean Motion, the Hands would show equal Time on two fixed Circles, on one the Hour, and the other the Minute . . . Soon after this clock was sent to Spain, I made others for Mr Quare which showed Apparent Time by lengthening and short-ening the Pendulum, in lifting it up and letting it down again, by a Rowler in the form of an ellipsis, through a slit in a piece of Brass, which the Spring at the Top of the Pendulum went through . . . For one of those, and not the first, made with the rising and setting of the Sun, Mr Quare sold to the late King William and it was set up at Hampton Court in his lifetime, where it hath been ever since . . . So that I think that I may justly claim the greatest right to this contrivance of making clocks to go with Apparent Time; and I have never heard of any such clock sold in England but was of my own making, though I have made them so long."
There seems to be no evidence to suggest that Quare refuted this assertion by Williamson, so we can only assume that he did indeed make equation clocks for Daniel Quare. Although this clock differs in its method of indication from those described by Williamson, it is nevertheless likely to be his work. This magnificent clock driven by a massive single weight also runs for a full year at one wind (400 days) and while the clock movement would have been made by Williamson, the case and the dial would have been the work of other skilled craftsmen employed by Quare.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The Ilbert Collection of clocks, prints and other related material was destined to be sold at Christie's auction house on 6th-7th November 1958. As a result of the generous donation of funds by Gilbert Edgar CBE the sale was cancelled and the material purchased privately from the beneficiaries of the Ilbert Estate.NL1Ilbert's watches were then acquired with further funds from Gilbert Edgar CBE, public donations and government funds. These were then registered in the series 1958,1201.NL1Purchased in Brussels in 1932.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.2098 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: F130 (Ilbert Ledger)