Joseph Knibb Miniature Longcase

Joseph Knibb Miniature Longcase

Joseph Knibb Olivewood Miniature Longcase, c 1685

A rare olivewood, walnut, ebony and boxwood inlaid miniature longcase by Joseph Knibb, features on today’s blog post. Standing at only 5’4” high, miniature longcases are extremely rare and this is one of only three by this maker, known today.

Whilst a stunning clock in its own right, our reason for choosing to feature this is due to its striking feature – its case. The very unusual and highly stylised l marquetry made up of holly wood and ebony is not often seen on seventeenth century longcase clocks. Two other clocks, one by Joseph and the other by John Knibb of Oxford, exist and boast similar marquetry.

Marquetry itself is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure or case in order to create decorative patterns, designs or pictures. The technique is unsurprisingly often applied to furniture and clocks of a certain period, highlighting their craftmanship and the luxurious markets they were sold to.

Seventeenth century forward thinking or 1960s psychedelia in marquetry?Fashions come and go, that is nothing new. Styles and trends come full circle but it’s not often that antique pendulum clocks can be likened to 1960s hallucinogenic art!

Psychedelia, meaning ‘mind manifesting’ was a term devised by British psychologist Humphrey Osmond. Psychedelic art refers to the movement of late 1960s culture and this colourful, kaleidoscope art acted as a counterpart to psychedelic rock music and a new way of thinking amongst young people.

It’s fascinating to think that almost 300 years after this beautiful clock case was crafted, similar patterns were being used in fashion, album covers, band posters and books.

You will be able to view this magnificent timepiece at the Innovation & Collaboration exhibition at Bonhams, New Bond Street, from September 3 – 14 2018.

Clock exhibition

HELD ON 3rd to 14th September 2018