A fine Queen Anne period faux tortoiseshell chinoiserie lacquer longcase clock with two train brass dial hour striking movement.
The 12 inch square dial has an applied silvered Roman and Arabic chapter ring and a subsidiary seconds dial below XII. The dial centre is finely matted and has a round date aperture. In the dial corners there are double cherub and crown spandrels. The maker’s signature Francis Gregg, Russell Street, Covent-Garden is engraved between VII and V on the chapter ring. The original hands are finely wrought and of blued steel.
The oak case, which has a central brass moulded lenticle to show off the swinging pendulum, is decorated with exceptionally fine lacquer work on a faux tortoiseshell ground. The trunk door is decorated with gilt figures set in an oriental landscape with trees, flowers, birds and boats. The sides of the case terminate in original carved gilt trusses at the top of the trunk. The hood is flanked by turned columns with brass capitals and bases and the hood door is subtly decorated with foliate and floral sprays. The unusual caddy top retains its original three gilt wood finials. The base with its double plinth is decorated with a bird, flying insects, trees and an exotic pavilion set within an oriental landscape.
The substantial high-quality 8-day two train movement strikes the hours on a single bell and comes with its original brass bob pendulum and 2 brass weights.
Height: 102 in (259 cm)
*Francis Gregg was born circa 1677 and apprenticed through the Clockmaker’s Company to John Clowes. He had his first workshop in Russell Street, Covent Garden between 1711 and 1714 when he moved to ‘the Dial in James Street over against the Palace Gates’. We can thus date this clock to those first early years in his working life. His son, Francis Junior who succeeded him, went bankrupt in 1743.
Lacquer longcase clocks of this quality and originality are comparatively rare. The fine subtle decoration and elegant proportions of this case make it particularly appealing.
Signed / Inscribed
Fran Gregg Russell Street, Covent-Garden