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  • Joseph Knibb walnut timepiece longcase
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Joseph Knibb, London

Clockmaker: Joseph Knibb, London


A very fine Charles II walnut month duration longcase clock. Circa 1675


The elegant case veneered in highly figured walnut is remarkably well preserved with excellent colour and patination The hood with original shallow dome top above cornice mouldings, with solid frieze over Solomonic reflective columns with integral turned capitals and bases. Convex throat mouldings to the trunk, the long trunk door framed by half round cross grain mouldings and veneered in book matched sections. Crossbanded plinth with book matched veneer resting on later bun feet.


The superb 10 inch square fire gilded dial, signed Joseph Knibb Londini Fecit to the lower margin, narrow silvered chapter ring with Roman hour numerals, Arabic five minutes and fleur-de-lys half hour markers. Finely matted centre to the dial with calendar aperture below XII and floral engraving between the cherub spandrels to the corners. Fine original blued steel pierced and sculpted hands.


The month duration movement still sits on pins projecting from the original oak seatboard and is supported with brass bracket attached to the backplate which connects to the original steel bracket projecting from the backboard. The four fine knopped pillars are all latched to the shaped plates. The dial feet are also latched. The single going train planted vertically in line with typical single foot shaped Knibb backcock and brass pendulum crutch. Original brass rod pendulum with brass lenticular bob with wood insert, above the bob is a brass butterfly hold to enable the whole bob to be turned whilst holding the butterfly.

Height: 6ft 10 inches (208 cm)

The few examples of timepiece longcase clock by Joseph Knibb include a pair of walnut timepiece (non striking) longcase clocks, bought by the Astronomer James Gregory for the University of St. Andrews in 1673. The clocks are still at The University of St. Andrews and illustrated in R. A Lee’s book The Knibb Family Clockmakers.

The wonderful case on this example has the distinctive Knibb features, including the reversed strap hinges and door lock placed higher up.


R A Lee, The Knibb Family Clockmakers. 1964, Plate 30