A Rare and Important Charles II 17th Century Table Clock by Henry Jones

GBP 85,000.00

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Object Description

The Rare and Important 17th Century Spring Driven Table Clock by the Celebrated Maker, Henry Jones.

Provenance dating back to 1745. Owned by Captain Alexander Raitt

A very rare and unusual Charles II English eight-day spring-driven table clock signed on the backplate, Henry Jones in the Temple, dating back to the period c.1675-80.

The elegantly proportioned ebony-veneered oak basket top case, whose austerity goes straight back to East-style models, has extremely shallow mouldings and large rectangular viewing windows to the sides so that the movement is almost entirely visible. The case rests on four brass bun feet.

The fine square brass dial with matted centre and just winding holes has an applied silvered chapter ring and winged cherub-head spandrels in the corners. The chapter ring is engraved with a narrow outer minute ring within which are Arabic five-minute numerals and two different types of 7½-minute markers, a central ring with Roman hours I-XII and fleur-de-lys half-hour markers and an inner ring divided into quarter hours. The time is indicated by an elegant pair of finely pierced period blued steel hands. Above the XII is a strike/silent aperture with original switch.

The striking eight-day twin fusee brass movement, with six latched pillars, early fusees with open click work and verge escapement with a short knife-suspended pendulum. The striking, which is regulated by an internal rack, indicates the hours fully on a bell. The backplate shows the pre-setting ratchet wheels with typical clicks and a fine U-shaped click spring. It is profusely engraved in period style around a typical signature cartouche with the maker’s name: Henry Jones in the Temple. The movement has an unusual bar operated pull-quarter repeat on two bells differing in pitch, one for the quarters and the other the hour bell.

The maker
Henry Jones was born at Boulder near Southampton in 1634 and was apprenticed to the famous maker Edward East in 1654 through the Clockmakers’ Company. He was made free in 1663 but remained working for East until 1672, when he set up in the Inner Temple. Later he was recorded in the Inner Temple Lane. He was a prolific maker, his work being highly thought of. Apart from spring, lantern and longcase clocks, he also made watches.

Object History

This clock is known as the Alexander Raitt clock. It was shipped from Scotland to America by Captain Alexander Raitt in 1745, sailing his own ship. Captain Raitt settled in Kittery in the province of Maine of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. On October 2, 1747, he married Miriam Frost (1722-1807), widow of Eliot Frost, a daughter of the Honourable John Frost of New Castle, New Hampshire.

The house where the Raitts lived is still in a good state of preservation in Kittery, now Eliot. It was built by Eliot Frost, Miriam’s first husband in 1740.

The clock, descending from father to son since it was brought over from Scotland and has been in the Raitt family until it was acquired by Miss Elizabeth Mehitable Bartlett of Eliot who presented it to her brother Ralph Sylvester Bartlett in 1939. It was still in his possession in 1941. It later went to his cousin John William Pepperrel Frost, who was the last owner, before we acquired the clock.

Object Literature

B. Loomes, The Clockmakers of Great Britain 1286-1700, Ashbourne, 2014, pp.430-31.
B. Loomes, Watchmakers and clockmakers of the World, London, 2006, p.429.

Object Condition

Good. Repaired. Replacements made. Wear consistent with age and use. The repeat work was partly restored to the original pattern. Several missing parts were made in the correct style.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

Dealer Location

Buscot Manor

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