- Museum number
Horizontal table clock with hour-striking and alarum; verge escapement with modified balance and later balance spring and regulator; hour-striking train driven by a going-barrel; going train driven by a barrel and fusee with gut line; worm wheel set-up of mainspring for regulating purposes; alarm train also powered by going-barrel; silver chapter-ring and alarum disc; blued steel hands; case of gilded brass with movement inserted from beneath, dial showing through aperture in case top; movement and base are retained by two latches; four lion feet may not be original.
Gt wheel 64 with pinion of 8 driving hour-wheel of 48
2nd wheel 54/7
Gt wheel 56
2nd wheel 48/6 arbor with pinion of report of 4 to count-wheel of ....
Hoop wheel 36/6
4th wheel 32/6
Warning wheel 24/6
Gt wheel 32
- Production date
Height: 7.50 centimetres
Width: 12 centimetres
Depth: 12 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'Clocks', by David Thompson, London, 2004, p. 64.
Robert Grinkin junior
Horizontal table clock
London, c. 1650
Height 7.5 cm, width 12 cm, depth 12 cm
In seventeenth-century England the spring-driven clock was not common until after the introduction of the pendulum in 1657. Before then, the most common domestic clocks were lantern clocks similar to the one by William Bowyer (registration no. 1958,1006.2094). Today, very few of these spring-driven clocks survive, suggesting that they were not made in large numbers. While some of them were lavishly decorated, others such as this one were more austere, perhaps being made with Puritan clients in mind. This particular clock was made by Robert Grinkin, who like his father of the same name was a member of the Blacksmiths' Company. Robert Grinkin junior also became a Free Brother in the Clockmakers' Company in 1632 and served as Warden in 1640 and Master in 1648 and 1654. He lived in Fleet Street and, during his mastership, the Clockmakers' Company Court meetings were held in his house. He died in 1661.
The four lion feet at the corners are the only decoration on the clock. The dial has a chapter ring with hours I-XII and arrowhead half-hour marks surrounding a circle divided into quarter-hours. A central alarm-setting disc is engraved with a seeded rose and numbered 1-11 with a steel pointer at 12 that indicates the time as the disc revolves. The small hand in the middle is for setting the alarm.
The movement is similar to that in a large clock-watch. There are three gear trains, for time keeping, hour striking and alarm, the striking train controlled by a blued-steel count-wheel running under a decorative cover-plate with a small square aperture which shows the last hour struck. Both the striking and alarm trains have geared stop-work. Also on the back plate is a silver disc, engraved with a rose and numbered 1-12, which is turned by a key-operated worm gear. This mechanism allows the owner to regulate the rate of the oscillating balance wheel by increasing or decreasing the power released by the mainspring. The finely pierced and engraved foliate balance cock, also on the back of the movement, is of a form found in watches of the period. The method of fixing is two-fold, firstly by a transverse pin through a stud fixed to the movement plate and secondly by a screw in its foot. The former harks back to the old method and the latter looks forward to a single screw fixing, which would become standard in watchwork.
This design of clock in England came to an abrupt end with the introduction of the pendulum, which necessitated the clock to be arranged vertically for the pendulum to swing and in consequence have a vertical dial like the Edward East clock (registration no. 1958,1006.2115).
The movement is signed on the back plate, 'Robert Grinkin Londini', in a fine cursive script.
Purchased in 1981.
- On display (G38/dc4)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number