The Falseplate Tompion
Case: Ebony on an oak carcass surmounted by a gilt-brass basket top, modelled with birds, swags and foliage, sides with cast foliate and laurel wreath gilt-brass frets with apertures to view barrels, foliate scroll sound fret to the front door, belflower escutcheons, moulded base on gilt-brass bun feet.
Dial: 6 inch square gilt-brass dial signed Tho. Tompion London below with silvered chapter-ring with blued-steel hands, winged-cherub spandrels, shuttered winding holes.
Duration: 8 day.
Movement: 7 by 8 inch plates with eight latched baluster pillars, twin fusees and spring barrels, hour strike and pull quarter repeat on two later bells, the repeat lever concealed behind a false plate engraved with tulips around a reserve signed Tho. Tompion Londini Fecit.
Escapement: Knife-edge verge.
Strike Type: Hour rack striking with pull-quarter repeat.
Provenance: Vehmeyer Collection, Netherlands. Christie's London, 3 November 2011, lot 114.
Literature: HM Vehmeyer, Clocks, their origin and developement, 1320-1880. Snoek, 2004, vol. II, p.626-7. Evans, Carter & Wright, Tompion 300 Years, p.314-315.
Exhibited: Holland, Utrecht, Dutch Gold, Silver and Clock Museum, Twee EeuwenUurwerker, 1657-1857, 1968, cat no.12.
Comments: For similar engraving on an un-numbered Tompion spring clock see Dawson, Drover & Parkes, Early English Clocks, pl. 519, 521.