english-longcase-metcalf-dial

English Regency mahogany longcase clock c.1810.

Painted dial bearing the makers’ names ‘Metcalf and Nicholl of Halifax’, listed makers of the late Georgian/early Regency period. The painted corners depict the 4 seasons, stylized as 4 women in Regency dress bearing symbols of the passage of the seasons.

The large arched Birmingham dial also has a moon-phase wheel with splendid Halifax moons and country and sea scenes for the new moons. 2 months are needed for a full rotation of the moon-phase wheel.

The fine Birmingham-made dial plate has been expertly cleaned and restored (mostly the black-work and edge gilding) incl. the globe transfers of the hemispheres for the new-moon shields Gilt pierced hands in brass for minutes, hours, sweep seconds and calendar-work.

The mahogany case is what is called a ‘Liverpool case’ after the grand and elaborate furniture style developed in the Liverpool region of England in the late C18th, reflecting new wealth and sophistication. Cases in this period tend to be tall with best quality veneer work and applied detail. Selected flame mahogany veneers over a pine frame. Fluted and canted corner case details. Swan-neck pediment to the top with turned paterae and also with a full and original set of brass finials – now polished and lacquered. Small Georgian bracket-plinth to base.

All cleaned and revived and in glowing condition. Movement fully overhauled (2009). Eight-day duration, weight driven, striking hours only on a single bell. Dead-beat escapement, the pendulum beating true seconds.

The sweep-second is a rare complication on English longcase clocks, most having only a small hand below the 12 in a separate’bit’ with 60 divisions; to fit a sweep second hand requires quite a different and more complicated layout of the wheel-work. It allows the maker to feature the use of a dead-beat escapement, in itself an expensive refinement used only on the best-made clocks.

Crank wind.

In all, this is a ‘statement’ clock of the period and signals the wealth of the original purchaser in many ways.

 Dimension: 251H x 61W x 26D cm.

Circa: 1810

 

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