JOSEPH WINDMILLS, London c1695

An important William & Mary quarter repeating spring table clock in an ebony case ordained with silver cast and repousse mounts of the finest quality. 

The seven and a half inch square brass dial has a finely matted centre, silver chapter ring and delicate peripheral engraving.  There are four silver quadrants to each corner of the dial, upper left strike/silent, upper right for rise and fall regulation and the lower two for pendulum lock.  There is an aperture for a false pendulum and a second aperture to view the day of the month.  All pointers on the dial are made of silver and the main pointers are finely pierced and faceted. 

The high quality twin fusee eight day duration movement repeats the quarters on four bells and the hours on a separate bell.  The escapement is verge.  The backplate is beautifully engraved and includes the maker’s signature (also included on the dial plate).  The pendulum is of lenticular style and there are two “crab claws” to clasp the pendulum for portability. 

Joseph Windmills was one of the finest clockmakers of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.  He was free of the Clockmakers Company in 1671 and initially worked in St Martin le Grand before moving his workshop to Mark Lane End in Tower Street.  In 1691 he was appointed Assistant, in 1699 Warden, and in 1702 he has appointed Master, succeeded the following year by his contemporary Thomas Tompion of whom he was known to have been a close associate. 

It is his association with Tompion which makes this clock particularly interesting.  Around 1680 Tompion made a small group of highly important grande sonnerie clocks for royalty which included a silver mounted example, the Sussex Tompion and the Tulip Tompion.  These clocks are illustrated in “Early English Clocks” by Dawson, Drover & Parkes.  The clock by Joseph Windmills is shown on plate 707, page 478.  The style and outward appearance of Windmill’s clock greatly resembles those previously mentioned by Tompion, including his use of four quadrants, and it is likely Windmill’s clock was also made for a royal patron.

Modern restoration:  The clock has now been returned to verge escapement.  The finials had been replaced with the silvered brass acorn type of Georgian design and these have been replaced with the correct style in silver.


Clockmaker: JOSEPH WINDMILLS, London
Circa: 1695
Stock Number: 3863
Height: 14.25 inches (36 cm.)