History dating platform clock escapement

It is more like the classical furniture of Louis XIV's France—amazing in its complexity and virtuosity—than typical English furniture of the period.

This need not surprise us, for French émigré craftsmen abounded in London at this time, refugees from Louis's oppression of his Protestant subjects.

Reading these metal elements from the base of the clock—the black-painted sub-base is a modern, protective addition—upward to its summit, we see bold, baroque scrolls curving into the corners, linked by deeply modeled swags of flowers and leaves, in the middle of which two cherubs hug.

Exactly two-thirds of the way up the main case the scrolls reappear, now closer together and leading the eyes outward as firmly as the lower scrolls led the eyes in.

Lovely little pieces of sculpture, they mark the transition between the long lower section and the detachable "hood," which surrounds and protects the works and is the culmination of this highly decorative piece.

It was no ordinary timepiece, even in the days when any timepiece was far from ordinary, for it towered more than ten feet and was spectacularly ornate.

It was a creation of polished burl walnut, gilt ornaments, baroque finials, and silvered dial, fronting an advanced mechanism, all surmounted by a martial, female figure of gilt bronze.

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