This magnificent hourly striking table clock is cased in walnut-veneer and boasts a flat-panelled top. One of the reasons we chose to focus on this little clock is due to its unusually styled and distinctive top. It is a transition between early pedimented architectural style cases and more elaborate caddy-topped cases which became fashionable later on in the period.
Walnut trees originate from Gaul, a region of Western Europe that nowadays encompasses present day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Italy, and Switzerland. Its name is derived from Old English, meaning ‘foreign nut’. The Latin name for the Walnut is ‘nut Gallica’ which translates as ‘Gallic nut’ – or ‘Gaul nut’ – as an acknowledgment of its heritage. The English Walnut has been in Britain since the time of the Romans, who reputedly spread the tree throughout Europe.
Walnut is an exceptionally hard and durable wood which carves well and holds it shape due to its sturdiness. It is therefore commonly used for fine furniture and cabinetry making. Unsurprisingly, clocks were often veneered using this wood and symbolised a luxurious and high-end item to showcase within a home.
The second reason for choosing to highlight Henry Jones’ table clock is because of its remarkable and beautifully engraved backplate. With a spray of tulip flowers emanating from the left-hand side and spreading around the count wheel, plus further embellishment in each corner with leaves. It is almost certainly the same engraver who was responsible for the backplates of clocks by Thomas Tompion, Joseph Knibb and James Clowes, highlighting the theme of ‘collaboration’.
Signed ‘Henricus Jones Londini’ this is a stunning insight into the care and attention to detail with which the watch and clockmakers’ of the time poured into their designs and creations.