AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND FINE MID 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH ROSEWOOD TRIPLE FUSEE QUARTER STRIKING GIANT FOUR GLASS CLOCK WITH ORIGINAL TRAVELLING CASE AND KEY BY GROHE, LONDON, NO.9799
the case with bevelled glass panels to the sides and stepped top with glazed viewing panel, surmounted by a gilt bronze faceted handle, the backdoor with pierced scrolling fretwork panel, raised on four bracket feet, with push repeat button to the left side, the front with gilt chamfered edges enclosing the engraved gilt mask decorated with strapwork and scrolling foliage in the manner of Thomas Cole, complimenting the silvered dial, the centre similarly engraved and with a cartouche signed ‘Grohe Wigmore Street’, with a further cartouche below inscribed ‘London 9799′, with Roman numerals and blued hands, the massive triple chain fusee movement with rectangular plates united by six tapering, finned pillars, with jewelled lever platform escapement, striking the quarters on two coiled gongs with hour strike on a further larger gong, with strike / silent lever to the backplate, the backplate signed GROHE Wigmore Street London 9799’, the movement secured to the case with four brass brackets; the substantial rosewood travelling box with brass handle over and Bramah lock, the padded interior lined with the green baize, with original winding key inscribed ‘Wind up to the left hand’, and featuring an arrow, the reverse initialled F.D., the base of the front plate of the movement also initialled F.D., the top of one brass support for the gong also initialled F.D.,
the clock with handle up 26.5cm high, the travelling case with handle up 30cm high
The clock is ticking and striking and the push repeat working but not fully tested or guaranteed.
Provenance: This clock has been in the same English family for at least eighty years.
The closest comparable to this exceptional clock is another clock made by Grohe in the mid 19th century which is of very similar design, large size and also features a triple chain fusee movement, and is numbered 2449. Number 2449 was sold at Christie’s, London, the Collection of Dr. Eugene & Rose Antelis, 10 June, 1998, lot 114, where it realised £56,500 and was described thus “This clock is one of the most important examples of glazed mantel clocks commonly known as four glass clocks. The individual who ordered this clock must have specified that no refinement should be spared. The dial, the movement, the case and the travelling box are all of the very best quality whilst its large and handsome proportions leave no doubt in the mind that it would have required a very deep pocket indeed to have bought this clock”. It was subsequently sold again at Christie’s, London, Magnificent Clocks, 15 September 2004, lot 28 for £47,800. Importantly, both the present clock and no. 2449 both retain their original rosewood carrying cases with Bramah locks, and their original winders. No. 2449 is slightly larger in size as it features gilt brass, adjustable feet unlike the present clock.