When looking at this striking clock, it’s not hard to see why we chose to feature it on the blog.
This magnificent 1695 longcase clock by Daniel Quare is wound only once a year, yet strikes every hour of every day. To put that into context, that’s 156 strikes a day, 58,500 a year, plus 10 days spare from a seven-wheel train and 22-kilogram weights!
Daniel Quare is believed to have been born in Somerset c 1648 and is a celebrated English clock maker who invented the repeating watch mechanism in 1680, which sounded the nearest hour and quarter hour when the owner of said watch pushed a pin, protruding from its case. In 1695, Quare also invented and developed a portable barometer; this was originally fitted with legs but was later designed to hang on a wall, just like early pendulum clocks of his predecessors.
Aged 23, Quare was admitted to the Clockmakers’ Company in 1671 and in 1708, he became a master of the company, until his death in 1724.
The case and columns of this exquisite clock are covered in première-partie Boulle work, in which tortoiseshell serves as the background, with inlaid brass. In this case, the floral and detailed pattern has been produced in metals and the background is of course in tortoiseshell.
Boulle work is a type of rich marquetry process or inlay, perfected by the French cabinetmaker André Charles Boulle (1642 –1732). The technique involves veneering furniture with a marquetry of tortoiseshell and then uses pewter which is and inlaid with arabesques of gilded brass to depict patterns or images. Although Boulle did not invent the method, he was its greatest practitioner and therefore put his name to it.
The carcass of the clock case itself is made of oak and is unusually constructed. The backboard is fixed with small wooden dowels and glued in place. The cross members are all dovetailed and then locked by a taper wedge, before gluing. Interestingly, these are all German features.