- Museum number
Table clock; eight-day spring-driven movement with fusees; going-train with verge escapement and short bob pendulum; striking-train with count wheel (hours only); case ebonised.
Gt wheel 86
2nd wheel 80/7
Contrate wheel 72/6
Escape wheel 27/6
2nd wheel arbor extended and carries wheel of 40 driving canon pinion.
Canon pinion 40
Minute wheel 40
Minute pinion 6
Hour wheel 72
Gt wheel 80
Pin wheel 78/10 (13 hammer lifting pins).
Hoop wheel 54/6
Warning wheel 48/6
Pin wheel arbor extended to take pinion of report of 8 driving count wheel of 48.
- Production date
Height: 36.50 centimetres
Width: 30.50 centimetres
Depth: 16.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'Clocks', by David Thompson, London, 2004, p. 68.
Height 36.5 cm, width 30.5 cm, depth 16.3 cm
The advent of the pendulum brought in a number of radical changes in the appearance of clocks. In weight-driven clocks, the longcase was the new fashion, but in spring-driven clocks the most obvious change was in the case, where wood was now the favoured material in contrast to the metal of earlier lantern and table clocks. Like the early Dutch pendulum clocks, English clocks of this period had relatively plain cases with all attention focused on the dial.
Edward East was born in 1602 in the village of Southill, Bedfordshire. He lived through virtually the whole of the seventeenth century, surviving plague, fire and revolution. He was apprenticed to Richard Rogers in the Goldsmiths' Company in 1618, and gained his Freedom in that Company in 1627. He was also a founder member of the Clockmakers' Company, being made one of the first assistants in 1632, and served as master in 1645 and 1653. He was also clockmaker to King Charles II from 1660. His business was in Pall Mall in 1632 but was at the 'Musical Clock' in Fleet Street by 1640, and towards the end of his life he worked at the 'Sun outside Temple Bar'. He also had a country residence in Hampton in Middlesex and other property in London, mentioned in his will. He died in 1697 at the age of ninety-five having been the head of one of the most prolific workshops of seventeenth-century London.
This example from East's workshop is austere in style with no superfluous decoration. The case is of plain ebony-veneered oak and the only ornament on the clock is an engraved seeded rose in the centre of an otherwise plain matted dial. The chapter ring is silvered to give a sharp contrast to the matted dial centre and to make the dark blued-steel hands stand out for ease of reading. The clock can be locked to limit access; children were clearly not expected to meddle with time.
The movement is typical of East's early pendulum clocks with large brass plates separated by finely-made baluster pillars and it displays interesting features. The plates are pinned at the back and the going train does not have a centrally-running wheel. The use of a centre-wheel, turning once per hour and carrying a minute hand, had not yet become standard practice. Instead, drive to the hands is taken from the extended second-wheel arbor, which carries a pinion on the dial side of the plate to drive the motion wheels, which provide a 12:1 reduction from minutes to hours. Positioned on the back plate to control the hour striking is a count-wheel engraved with a seeded rose. The signature, 'Eduardus East Londini', is engraved in the lower part of the back plate.
- On display (G39/dc7)
- 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.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: CAI.2115 (Ilbert Collection)
Previous owner/ex-collection number: Q289 (Ilbert Ledger)