A Month Duration Burr Walnut Longcase Clock by Sam Aldworth, London
Case: The break arch case veneered with the finest walnut having crossgrain walnut mouldings to enhance the colour and figuring, with strung inlaid door below the glazed hood and fluted brass inlaid pillars, the panelled base with book matched veneers and crossgrain mouldings and standing upon a rectangular plinth.
Dial: This rare and beautiful month duration, burr walnut longcase clock has fine and complex break arch brass dial with subsidiary dials to the arch for day, date, month chapters with signs of the zodiac incorporated within the month dial and offset seconds dial to the centre of the arch.
Movement: The superb month duration movement with hour strike and Royal seconds pendulum and anchor escapement beating seconds within a large dial to the arch via a system of wheels and rods. This extra complication neccessitated the making of non standard plates for the impressive movement. The plates are cast with large projections to the otherwise rectangular plates. These projections are designed to house the extra gearing to move the seconds dial from below the XII position so that it rests within the centre of the dial arch giving movement to the top of the clock.
This clock is considered to be Sam Aldworth's finest clock and was made towards the end of his life. In his early years he had worked with the Knibb family of clockmakers.
Samuel Aldworth (1659-1720?) was John Knibb's brightest and most auspicious apprentice and journeyman. He was born the son of John Aldworth of Childrey, Buckinghamshire and began his apprenticeship with John Knibb in Oxford in 1673 at the age of about 14. When his 7 year apprenticeship ended in 1680 Samuel continued to work for Knibb as his Journeyman until 1689 when he set up in Oxford on his own. In 1697 Samuel moved to London when Joseph Knibb sold his London business and in December of the same year he was admitted to the Clockmakers' Company as a Free Brother. In 1703 he married Elizabeth Knibb, thought to be the daughter of John Knibb; she is listed as having been aged 23 and from Collingtree, near Northampton. Samuel eventually left London in1720 returning to his birthplace of Childrey where he died.
Samuel Aldworth's clocks show the very high quality of craftsmanship and many similarities to that of his employers, John and Joseph knibb.
Provenance: From an English Collector. This clock was dismantled and put into safe storage during World War II, to save it from the blitz. We are unsure as to what happened to the owners as it seems that the clock case and movement stayed apart for several years after the war when it was rediscovered in the early 1950s and restored to its former glory.