Full Details for Lot 647
Sale DEC09A Lot 647
Rare and unusual George I clock by Richard Glynne, London, circa 1720-1725, a fruitwood cased table clock (probably previously ebonised), surmounted by a revolving celestial globe showing phases of the moon on brass S supports with a flower and foliage engraved front bracket above the inverted bell top. The brass 7.5" dial has a very rare trefoil shaped chapter ring (see below) with Roman numerals, and the spandrels are engraved with figures emblematic of the seasons. The centre of the dial has a matt finish. The arch has a subsidiary dial with twin rings one showing minutes and the other lunar dates for the phases of the moon with Arabic numerals (hands missing). On brass ball feet. There are glazed sides and doors enclosing the eight day single train fusee movement. The brass back plate is engraved with scrolling foliage and "Richard Glynne Londini fecit", 25.25" high
There are several unusual features in this clock
1 The case is surmounted by a revolving moon phase globe driven by a vertical pillar and a series of cogs from the movement. Knowing the correct moon phase was important because trips on horseback or by coach were much less safe on a dark night and crops could be harvested by the light of the moon. This however is an unusual way of depicting phases of the moon.
2 The trefoil shaped chapter ring is extremely rare although there are a few examples by Glynne's contemporary Richard Street (See below) On 28th May 1982 Sothebys sold a wall clock by Richard Street of Shoe Lane just off Fleet Street. (Lot five in the sale described as a "sale of nine English clocks"). The clock had previously been sold by them in 1953. The similarities of the two dials are striking not only because of the shape of the chapter ring which was described as pear shaped but because of the style of the engraving of the foliage and numerals and the matt finish to the centre of the dial. Street and Glynne worked close to one another; Street is recorded in Fleet Street until he is thought to have died in 1722 and Glynne was in Fleet Street from 1718-1729 when he retired.
3 The single hour hand mechanism. The shape of the chapter ring means that there must be special arrangements for the single hour hand the shape of which again very closely resembles the hand in the Street clock. The whole of the inner dial revolves and the hand is fixed but has to follow the contours of the inner border of the chapter ring. This is achieved by a spring loading which seems to be the same in both clocks.
Street was a distinguished but little known clockmaker whereas Glynne although also described as a clockmaker was much better known for his finely engraved scientific instruments.
It is reasonable to suggest that the eccentric dial may well have provided by Street although it is conversely equally possible that the dials were made by Glynne and used by Street in his clocks! There may also have been a contribution from Glynne's business partner in the 1720s Anne Lea, whose father and mother Phillip and Anne Lea were noted map and globe sellers.(See below)
Richard Glynne (1681-1755), was apprenticed to Henry Wynne in 1696 in the Clockmakers' Company of which he became a freeman in 1705: he became Steward of the Company in 1725. He worked first at the sign of the Atlas and Hercules (1712-16) in Cheapside and subsequently (1718-29) opposite Salisbury Court in Fleet Street, London. On obtaining his freedom in 1705, he married Anne Lea, the daughter of the noted map and globe-sellers Philip and Anne Lea (see below). From at least 1712 he was working in association if not in formal partnership, with his mother-in-law, advertising a new pair of globes in 1712, and publishing and marketing maps. In parallel with this activity, he made and sold 'all sorts of Mathematical instruments, either for Land or Sea, according to the newest improvements' as he stated in an advertisement in 1726. There is another reference to advertising 'all Kinds of Dials, Spheres and Globes of all Sizes.' A variety of scientific instruments by Glynne are indeed known. All are of high quality, with clean, well executed engraving uncluttered by unnecessary decoration. Glynne's fine instruments recommended themselves to a fashionable clientèle, and he was sufficiently successful to be able to retire at the relatively early age of 49 in 1729, his stock being auctioned at the shop of the optician Edward Scarlett in 1730. There is an impressive armillary orrery in the Science Museum in Oxford, dating from around 1720 and standing just over a metre in height. The Museum state on their website that it must have been at the top of his range: an impressive and expensive purchase by one of his most wealthy customers.
Richard Street was apprenticed to Thomas Tompion; he became a freeman of the Clockmakers Company in 1687 and was elected Junior Warden in 1713. He worked in Shoe Lane just off Fleet Street and there is evidence that he was responsible for some of Tompion's repeating watch movements. He was undoubtedly well connected and probably his most famous commission is the important Degree Clock which is now at the Old Observatory at Greenwich. This may have been "The black clock on the back stairs" described in Sir Isaac Newton's personal papers after his death. Sir Isaac had also commissioned from Street a fine and highly unusual clock as a gift for Doctor Bentley who was Master of Trinity College Cambridge in 1708, it apparently had an eccentric chapter ring and an expanding and contracting hand. There is no record of him after 1722 when it is presumed he died..
The dial of the wall clock sold by Sothebys and mentioned above has striking similarities to the dial of this clock by Richard Glynne
Anne Lea was mother in law of Richard Glynne and inherited from her husband Phillip who died in 1700. He had been apprenticed to Robert Morden in 1675 and by 1683 was in business as a globe maker with Robert Morden and William Berry. He was one of the leading English map-makers and publishers of his day and described himself as a globe maker in advertisements and in a catalogue of "Globes, spheres, maps, mathematical projections, books, and instruments" in the 1790s. On his death he left a third of all his maps, plates and globes to his wife with the remainder to his children. She also inherited one third of his globe plates. Their daughter, also Anne, married Richard Glynne. Mother and daughter therefore would have inherited a large part of Phillip Lea's stock in trade, which would have been available to Richard Glynne.
Multiple images of this clock are available. Buyers will be able to assess the condition from these images. The following comments may be of further assistance.
There is a screw thread at the top of the globe and obviously a finial is missing from here
The glass on the globe is badly cracked
The hands from the subsidiary dial are lost.
We have removed the globe and top plate and have found no other screw holes in the case indicating that the globe is an original feature and was not added later in place of a handle.
Several cogs in the mechanism for driving the globe are replacements
The escapement and pendulum are replacements for an original verge escapement.
The two large brass brackets holding the clock in the case are not original.
There is a hole drilled in the base of the case where it is assumed that some support for the movement was housed but is no longer there.
The brass feet are thought to be replacements
This clock is has been sent in for sale by executors from an estate in Winchester. Family tradition indicates that this clock was inherited through the Bohn family of Hull and through earlier connections from the Boleyns.
Estimate £ 5,000-8,000
Sold for £26000
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