THOMAS TOMPION No 420, Londini Fecit

  THOMAS TOMPION No 420, Londini Fecit

An important Queen Anne, quarter repeating, ebony spring table clock in a well-preserved state.  The case standing on bold gadrooned feet with matching escutcheons and a finely cast sound fret.  The bell top case is surmounted by a bold cast foliate handle which retains the original gilding. 

The 7¼ in by 8½ in dial is mounted with mask head spandrels.  The brass chapter ring retains traces of the original silvering as do the two subsidiary dials for rise and fall regulation and strike/silent. 

The blued steel pointers are finely pierced and faceted.  The seven pillar, fully latched movement is in excellent condition and has never been converted from a verge escapement.  The quarter repeating mechanism is also in excellent original condition and, quite unusually, the clock strikes one at each half hour.  The back plate, which retains the original gilding, is beautifully engraved in a foliage design and includes the maker’s signature.  At the base of the back plate is the serial number 420.

Thomas Tompion was a most highly respected English clockmaker.  Born at Ickwell Green, Bedfordshire, in 1639 he moved to London in 1671 and became a Free Brother in the Clockmakers Company. In 1674 he established his business at the sign of The Dial and Three Crowns in Water Lane, now called Whitefriars Street, and met Dr Robert Hooke, an eminent physicist and mathematician, who helped him with movements. Through this association Tompion came to the notice of Charles II and from that time held an unrivalled position in English horology.  In 1695 Graham joined Tompion and married his niece.  In 1701 Tompion took Edward Banger into partnership, another niece’s husband, who had previously been his apprentice. They broke up acrimoniously in 1707/1708 and Graham was then made a full partner. Clocks signed by Tompion and Graham are very rare.  In 1703 Tompion was elected Master of the Clockmakers' Company.  He is known to have made about 650 clocks, approximately 18-20 clocks a year. He devised a numbering system for his clocks and watches between 1680 and 1685 and they go up to 542, a system which was continued after his death by his successor George Graham.  Tompion died in 1713 and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Clockmaker: Thomas Tompion, Londini Fecit
Circa: 1705
Stock Number: 4207s
Height: 16.5 inches (42 cm.)