fabulous early oak cased hook-and-spike by Samuel Greaves of Bromsgrove c1710. The panelled oak case is exceptionally interesting. The hood which is non opening has ' hanging ' pillars and is panelled to the sides. Unusually the hood does not slide back and forwards but it has to be slotted into place, just like a cupboard is hung on a wall bracket. The trunk measures 51 inches. The long panelled trunk door is held in place by two wonderfully primitive, external iron blacksmith hinges. The original iron escoucheon and iron lock are retained. The case was probably made to match a pannelled room and would have stood right up to the ceiling height, with the shallow hood moulding matching the original ceiling cornice. The side of the hood is also pannelled and this has probably been done to make up for the loss of pannelling to the dial area. The iron birdcage movement with hoop and spurs has a nine inch square brass dial. It has spandrels which are riveted on and first came into use around 1695 (see English Domestic Clocks by Cescinsky & Webster, page 92 and spandrel pattern no.6 ). The solid dial sheet is wafer thin and has a matted centre with a ringed date calendar. The lantern type iron hand is original. The chapter ring is also riveted (not screwed) and is signed S. Greaves Bromsgrove. There are meeting arrowheads for half-hour markers and it may be that Greaves executed the engraving himself. The clock hangs from the original iron hook on the backboard of its case. The clock is in an un-restored (but good working) condition. The humble clock work in such a case is both intriguing and compelling. It could be the work of an estate cabinet maker, rather than a joiner, who had been given the job to provide the master with a clock. Had he a young clock making chum called Greaves to provide a simple movement to keep down the frugal masters costs? The cabinet maker may have been an elderly retainer determined to do the job properly! Perhaps he had only seen an engraving of a clock case in an old book. Although, in the flesh it does appear to be earlier - in my opinion the clock dates from around c1710 and may have been made by the father or relative of a Samuel Greaves listed as working in Bromsgrove from the mid 1720s and who died in April 1773. This clock does have a powerful presence and is a very rare surviver which gives us a facinating insight into the very beginnings of clockmaking and casemaking in Bromsgrove some 300 years ago.
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