am constantly suprised and excitied by the many different types of 30-hour clocks made by Richard Savage that keep coming to light. Please Conact Me if you have any interesting clocks by this early Shroposhire maker that you would like to sell as I am always looking to purchase more examples to illustrate on this website.
ook-and-Spike clocks were relatively simple clocks designed to hang on the wall as a cheaper alternative to a lantern or longcase clock. Most examples were made with the new owners having either a cheap option to just hang the clock directly from a simple iron nail on the wall or they could also use a more expensive option which was to hang the clock from the backboard of a wooden longcase to keep the dust out - which is what happened to many examples at a later date when the owners had more money to spend. However the Richard Savage hook-and-spike illustrated here, I suspect has only ever been used as a wall clock since it was made originally with its own specially made iron side doors/dust covers by Savage - keeping the movement housed and clean and therefore making it a self contained wall clock - without the need for a wooden longcase.
exciting find because not only is it complete and very original throughout, but it was possibly made at the very end of Richard Savage's career (as he died in 1726). This example is another variant to the many types of 30-hour clocks that we already knew Richard made during his forty plus years as a professional clockmaker which includes Lantern, hooded, longcase, and square dial hook-and-spike clocks. We can now add round dial hook-and-spike clocks to the list.
or me the round dial hook-and-spike wall clock illustrated here is a very
he clock was discovered several years ago by Mr James Gilmartin of Edinburgh who had purchased the clock during a house clearance in the north east of Scotland. The then owner was a lady who had previously inherited the clock from her family which originated from the midlands. She had no knowledge of the clocks history other than remembering that her parents (who had also inherited the clock from within the family) had it hanging in their hallway when she was a child. Given that the clock is in an exceptionally original untouched condition and is complete with all of its original accessories, it is very possible that the clock has been owned by the same midlands family for centuries or perhaps even from new? Thankfully when Mr Gilmartin decided to sell the clock he contacted me and I have been able to re unite the clock with other genuine Richard Savage examples!
with anchor escapement - including longcase, hooded, wall, and lantern clocks - I am always searching to find rare examples dating from the 1680s and early 1690s - a period which is generally regarded as being at the very start of domestic clockmaking in many parts of rural England. However, I have always been hopeful that one day I would come across an exceptionally early 30-hour pendulum clock with original anchor escapement that dates close to the very beginnings of their prototype existence of the 1660s. This article is about one such very rare, exciting and untouched 30-hour Key-Wound example that I have been fortunate enough to acquire and illustrate on this website.
rom books, journals and the internet articles I have read on the subject, I have found that there are several theories to how the earliest pendulum clocks with anchor escapement were first developed. One disputed theory is that the very first prototype examples were made from 1658 after the invention of the Anchor Escapement by British scientist Robert Hooke. Between 1658 and 1670 it is thought that the making of these first pendulum clocks (including longcase) were limited to the work of the Fromanteel family and their immediate associates which included Edward East, John Hilderson and Samuel Knibb. However, during these first twelve years, it was a struggle for them to develop a pendulum device capable of keep accurate time. It was not until around 1668-1670 that an anchor escapement had been fully developed that, when used in conjunction with a pendulum, it allowed a greater accuracy to be achieved.
s a collector of early provincial 30-hour pendulum clocks
The Origins of the Earliest
he very interesting clock shown here - which has survived in an amazing
complete, original and untouched condition is believed to date at the very early Longcase period of between c1668-1670. It is a Key-Wound 30-hour longcase movement with its original Anchor Escapement.
he 9.75-inch brass dial is beautifully all-over engraved including the corners with flowers, predominantly tulips and is simply stunning! The dial centre has winding holes set within two engraved flowers and there is also a lovely engraved date calendar. The 1.25-inch-wide narrow chapter ring has trident half hour markers and there are minute markers on the outside edge. The original iron hands are superb, and both have a tulip design which matches the tulip theme of the dial.
he massive and heavily built plated movement with its original anchor escapement is wonderfully original throughout and has four large ringed and knopped pillars which are latched at the front and pinned at the back. It has four-wheel trains like an 8-day, but with some of the pinions substituted by brass wheels with larger counts. This reduces the duration to make it 30-hr (or at least shorter than 8-day). Why this should have been done like this is a mystery but totally original arrangement. The lovely tapered iron wheel arbours are mostly without collets and are direct to the wheels. There are two massive tapered iron arbours that have iron collets, but these are integral and are part of the iron arbour itself. There is one concave brass collet, but this mixture of iron and brass collets is original and is also found on other clocks from this period. This same original feature can be seen on another early Key-Wound 30-hour by Jonathan Chambers, c1668 illustrated in English 30 Hour Clocks by Darken &Hooper pages 43-47.
ulips formed the theme of the engraved dials of many, if not most, English lantern clocks of the mid to late 1600s but are exceptionally uncommon during this same period on square dials of other kinds of clocks (namely longcase clocks, hooded clocks or bracket clocks). Clocks other than lantern which have this tulip-based engraving filling the dial centre and the dial corners are very few in number. Brian Loomes in one of his article entitled ‘A Tulip-dial Clock of the Seventeenth Century' states that surviving known examples all date between 1664 and 1680 and to support this theory I have seen a table clock c1660-1664 by John Hilderson with an all-over engraved tulip theme dial. And recently an important early ebony spring pendulum timepiece with alarm by Edward East, c1660 that sold at auction - also had an all-over engraved tulip theme dial.
nfortunately the clock illustrated here survives without its original case - which was lost many years ago - probably due to wood rot and decay. My job now is to preserve and protect this historically important surviving example for future generations and it would be nice to find a or make a suitable case to house the clock and hopefully do it justice. Please Contact Me if anyone is aware of any such case.
rivate Ownership of John Carlton-Smith between 1960-2017
John Carlton-Smith purchased this important early clock in 1960 for his own private collection. The then owner (in 1960) had been a founding member of the AHS back in 1953 and was a highly respected and serious collector. John kept the clock in its lovely untouched, unrestored and original condition for almost 58 years - until December 2017 - when John sold the clock to me
About John Carlton-Smith
John Carlton-Smith has been dealing in antique clocks since 1972 including examples from the most renowned English clockmakers such as Thomas Tompion, George Graham, Joseph & John Knibb and Daniel Quare. The originality of the movements and wonderfully patinated untouched cases are hallmarks of John Carlton-Smith. John’s long experience and discerning eye mean that he has served on the clock vetting committee of some of the most important antique fairs, including the former Grosvenor House Antiques Fair, Masterpiece London and the BADA Fair.
t was John Carlton-Smith - who back in 2010 - had first brought my attention to this Important Early Key-Wound 30-hour clock. It was only because of Johns kindness and generosity - which made it possible for me to acquire the clock from John's own private collection - along with another's stunning and exceptionally early London 30-hour cased example dating from c1673.
Thanks John - I am forever truly grateful!
would like to thank Brian Loomes for allowing me to use any relevant previously published articles written by him - which I have used for my own article above.
would like to thank John Robey for his help with explaining the unusual movement arrangement.
his Early Key-Wound 30-hour Clock is a historically important survivor because it was made during a period of when the first longcase clocks made with - the then new - fully developed anchor escapement first started to appear in London and the nearby surrounding areas. Because it is an unsigned example - we will probably never find out who made the clock, but it is probably London. However this is only assumption on my part and for me - the mystery of who made it 350 years ago just adds to the excitement!
Anchor Escapement Pendulum Clocks
30-hour Clock c1668-1670
30-hour Clock c1668-1670