A superb Charles II month duration floral marquetry longcase clock by the well-known maker John Wise, c. 1680-85. Measure: 10″.
The case is of the highest quality and decorated throughout in very attractive floral marquetry depicting spring flowers and birds showing a high level of sophistication with a glazed circular lenticle to the door. Similarly, the rising hood is decorated with blind frets around the top and surmounted by a shallow caddy decorated by five gilt wooden ball finials. It is flanked by prominent gilt brass-capped solid barley twist columns, with blind fretted panels to the sides.
The month-going nicely finned and knopped five pillar movement has reversed going and striking trains, the striking train (on the right) being regulated by a small outside countwheel. The going train has anchor escapement and a seconds pendulum. The movement is fronted by a 10-inch brass dial with an unusual narrow silvered chapter ring, seconds ring and date aperture. It has elaborate cherub-head spandrels in the corners and is signed along the bottom John Wise Londini Fecit. The middle is finely matted, whilst the time is indicated by a fine pair of blued-steel hands, the hour hand richly pierced.
John Wise was born in Banbury shortly before 17 March 1624, the date of his baptism. He was the son of John and Ann Wise and a cousin of Joseph Knibb. He was apprenticed to Peter Closon, the famous lantern clockmaker, through Thomas Dawson and the Clockmakers’ Company in 1638 and was freed in 1646. Initially, he worked in Warwick, where he repaired the clocks of St Nicholas’ and St Mary’s church from 1653-1668. His first four sons were baptised in St Mary’s. After 1670 he worked in London, at one time ‘near the Popeshead in Moorfields’. He took quite a number of apprentices over the years, including his sons Richard, John, Thomas, Joseph, Peter, Luke, and Robert. He was buried in St Andrew’s Holborn in 1690. His son John may have followed in his footsteps from 1690 until 1720. Lantern clocks, longcase clocks and spring clocks by his hand are known.