Nathaniel Hodges, London.
An ebony basket top table timepiece with pull quarter repeat. Circa 1685
Ebony and ebonised fruitwood on oak with a brass repoussé basket top decorated with cornucopia, swags of fruit, flowers and cherubs with a brass carrying handle, the front of the case with repoussé gilt escutcheons, glazed side apertures with pierced wood frets above, on a moulded plinth and gilt brass bun feet.
6 inch square brass dial with winged cherub head spandrels and a silvered chapter ring having Roman and Arabic numerals with half hour marks, the matted centre with decorated date aperture and false winding hole. Blued steel hands.
The 8 day movement with five pillars, single fusee with verge escapement, pull quarter repeating sounding the hours and quarters on two bells. The engraved backplate with tulips and entwined foliage signed Nathaniel Hodges in Wine Office Court in Fleet Street Londini Fecit.
Nathaniel Hodges listed as a “Great Clockmaker” was free of the Clockmakers Company in December 1681. In arrears with his quarterage in 1687 he was not heard of thereafter. Wine Office Court in Fleet Street was found opposite the shop of Thomas Tompion at the corner of Water Lane in Fleet Street.
A similar example by Nathaniel Hodges was sold by Carter Marsh from the Tom Scott Collection Part 1 in 2015.
Repoussé is a highly skilled and labour intensive method of decorating metals, in which parts of the design are raised in relief from the back or the inside and formed in reverse onto pitch by means of hammers and punches. The definition and detail can then be added from the front by chasing or engraving. The name repoussé is derived from the French pousser, “to push forward.” This ancient technique, which has been used extensively throughout the history of metalworking, achieved widespread popularity in Europe during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.