One of the most important early English longcase clocks to come on to the market in the last ten years will be sold at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of Fine Clocks, Barometers & Scientific Instruments on Tuesday 11th March 2014. Bought by the existing owners great grandfather from Evesham, Worcestershire in around 1894, and the clock appears to have survived relatively untouched, and is offered for the first time on the open market.
Made by one of the most well-known English clockmakers of the Restoration period, Joseph Knibb, the clock is possibly the earliest longcase clock made by Knibb, and belongs to a group of less than half a dozen surviving examples made before he moved to London in 1670. As the clock was made in Oxford it could also be the earliest longcase clock made anywhere outside of London.
Latterly famous for the ingenuity of his approach, as well as for the high quality of his work, this particularly early example displays an architecturally perfect and elegant case and an exquisitely engraved dial, with decoration directly comparable to that seen on another clock by Joseph Knibb, created whilst he was in Oxford.
The movement is very closely related to others by the famous contemporary clock makers, Ahasuerus Fromanteel and Edward East, who were both living and working in London, prior to 1670. This supports the theory that Knibb spent time in London before he moved in 1670, and was greatly influenced by his peers. This exceptional example is estimated to sell for £80,000 – 120,000.