Fine Mahogany Longcase with Centre Date and Centre Seconds, by Clifton, Liverpool


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Object Description

An exceptional 1780s Lancashire mahogany longcase clock of very high quality, both in terms of the case and the movement.

The ornate grand case is of typical Liverpool-style, but with every detail possible; the base with brickwork corners, the trunk with four knopped pillars to each side and a blind fretwork frieze; the hood having a swan-neck fitted with glass insets, gold painted on a black ground. The hood similarly has freestanding quadruple column structures to the sides. The veneers are highly figured, the base panel having book-matched veneers.

The 13-inch brass dial has a chequerwork engraved pattern to the centre with a silvered plaque bearing the maker’s name. It has centre datework and centre seconds – very rare to have both.
The rolling moon has a silvered arc above, with the words On Times Uncertain Date ETERNITY Depend.

The high quality eight-day movement has dead-beat pallets and is rack striking on a bell.

Object History

John Clifton was working between about 1777 and 1790 at Fazakerley Street, Liverpool. He has been listed variously at numbers 14 (1790), 15 (1781) and 16 (1777) as a clockmaker then later as a watchmaker and watch case maker and victualler.

John was born on 28 May 1742, the son of Edward Clifton, clockmaker. In January 1766 he married Elizabeth Walker. In July 1793 he died aged 51 at Fazakerly Street. His estate was less than £40.

Two longcase clocks by John Clifton are in the Liverpool museum.

Object Condition

A Completely straight clock – entirely original.
To be overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1935 713333

Dealer Location

Bank Farm,
Lower Odcombe,
BA22 8TY

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