John Thwaites, London – 24-hour Georgian bracket clock


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Object Description

A rare George III mahogany bracket clock by John Thwaites London, having a 24-hour night and day dial and phases of the moon.

The painted 9-inch twenty-four hour dial has the centre cut out between 5am and 7pm (roughly speaking, dawn and dusk) with a rural scene painted on the plate behind. A gilt sun which tracks the hour hand traverses the scene during the day, hidden by night. To the arch, a rolling moon rotates on a lunar cycle, within a lunar date track. The upper left of the dial has a strike/ silent lever.

The clock was clearly made as a bespoke piece for a French customer. Both dial and movement backplate are signed and numbered John Thwaites, Clerkenwell, LONDRES, 2445.

The two train fusee movement has five knopped pillars, an anchor escapement, and geared remote winding to allow clearance for the discs and sweep of the sun hand. It strikes on a bell, trip repeating on a cord through the base. Both backplate and the top edge of the front plate are numbered 2445, the backplate also signed John Thwaites, Londres. The movement is fully original and working well, and will be overhauled for sale to carry our 3-year guarantee.

The well-figured mahogany case is elaborated with gilt mounts to the corners, attractive pierced silk-backed sound frets to the sides, and a wooden pagoda finial to the arch. Three gilt brass flambeau finials surmount the clock. The glazed back door allows a view of the unusual movement lay-out with remote winding.

Height: 25 inches (63.5 cms)

Aynsworth Thwaites founded the family clockmaking dynasty in about 1735, working from Clerkenwell, London from 1740- 1780. Thereafter the firm traded from Bowling Green Lane and in the 18th and 19th centuries became the most prolific clockmaking firm in England.  In c.1772, Aynsworth apprenticed his son John to the family business. John succeeded Aynsworth as head of the firm from 1780 to 1816, and was master of the Clockmakers’ Company in 1815, 1819, and 1820. In 1816, Thwaites partnered with George Jeremiah Reed, and the firm became Thwaites & Reed. John Thwaites remained at the firm’s head until 1842.

Thwaites’ records of serial numbers from 1761 to 1910 still exist today. From these, we can date this night and day clock, numbered 2445, to c.1800 making it an early example of a Thwaites clock.

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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