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A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.

An outstanding example of a small, early longcase clock in 'Museum condition'.

Stock No:   14432

Movement.

Tall, eight day duration, 5 shaped pillars and being partially latched. Having an Anchor Recoil escapement and outside, crossed-out countwheel striking the hours on a large top-mounted bell. Also having an early 'upside down' backcock. The weights are brass-cased.

Dial.

Square, 11" brass dial with well-cast elaborated winged putti corner spandrels, a finely matted centre with ringed winding holes and an upside down curved and chamfered edged square calendar aperture, this has scrollwork engraving surrounding it. The silvered chapter ring has an outer divided minute track with small Arabic 5's, Roman hour numerals, half hour cruciform divisions and an inner quarter track. There is floral engraving between the spandrels and the bottom space bears the maker's signature "John Drew, Londini fecit". The very fine and blued steel hands extremely precise and sit beautifully.

Case.

The extremely heavy case is classed as 'panelled ebony' with an oak carcass, thick ebony veneer and ebonised areas. The rising hood has a flat top with a small moulding over a 'drip ledge'. There is a further small moulding over a classic 'Knibb style' blind sound fret to the front. The front is fixed and glazed with integral barley-twist columns, these have cast brass Corinthian top capitals and Doric lower capitals, this is repeated in quarters to the rear again flat ears. The sides have high, framed and glazed viewing apertures. The hood sits upon a large convex moulding that in turn is upon a small moulding. The trunk has a full-length door that is panelled, edged with a half-round moulding and has a circular and glazed lenticle also with half-round moulding. The keyhole has an ornate brass escutcheon and the hinges are flanked with extremely rare brass rosettes (see page 77 in Tom Robinson's book 'The Longcase Clock'). The sides of the trunk are also panelled and the plain plinth has a contradictory top moulding and sits upon four bun feet. The thick oak backboard has several fixing holes and continues all the way to the bottom.

* John Drew was apprenticed to the famous clockmaker Joseph Knibb of London in September 1676. He was freed in September 1684 when his address is recorded as Johnson Court in Fleet Street. He was appointed to the position of Beadle in the Clockmakers Company in April 1712 with a duty to keep order during meetings. The position of beadle was often given to members in poor health or in some financial difficulty being a paid position. John Drew received charitable payments from the Clockmakers Company from January 1713 until he died in the autumn of that year, just two years after his Master, Joseph Knibb.

** This example of Drew's work is exceptionally good, the movement closely resembles that of Knibb as one would expect and the case must have been made by Knibb's casemaker because of its construction and general appearance. The most important fact of this clock in my mind is that in over 325 years it has never been poorly repaired or maintained. I have restored over 2,000 longcase clocks to date and I have never seen or expected to see an early example that has not been 'botched'. The incredible condition of this clock is very important and should not be understated. If clocks ever attain the value of fine paintings by old masters, this example will be a long way up the list - it is truly a 'purest collector's' clock.

Dimensions:                   75 3/8" high x 17 3/4" wide x 9 3/4" deep.

Circa:                             1685.

Condition:                       The movement is very original and well-maintained, the escapement has been
                                       replaced probably due to wear as has the pendulum suspension assembly, the
                                       datework is original as are the rest of  the parts and it is all in full working order
                                       however, it has been several years since receiving maintenance and would benefit
                                       from an overhaul. The weights are also in excellent condition. The dial is original
                                       and restored, the hands may be replacements because of their delicate
                                       proportions. The case is also original but has obviously had maintenance
                                       throughout its life and the bun feet are replacements. The trunk lock works but
                                       requires attention and the movement fixing bracket, hood catch and 'spoon' are
                                       missing. Most important of all - this clock has never had damaging or inferior
                                       work carried out on it.

Price:                              £38,000 in it's present and fully working condition. A price and timescale for any
                                       work required by the purchaser can be advised upon enquiry.

A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
  • A fine and early English, panelled ebony longcase clock by John Drew, London. Circa 1685.
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