A superb William and Mary period floral marquetery longcased clock by Edward Bird of London

Possibly commissioned by Sir Nathanial Bond (kings serjeant) 1634-1707 (research still ongoing)...

CASE:

The originally rising hood has now been converted to forward moving with tapered spiral twisted columns with full inlay around the hood door, to a convex moulded throat and a long trunk door with brass lenticel inlaid with three panels displaying flowers picked in walnut, satinwood, rosewood and other exotic woods within boxwood borders and a D-moulded edge, the base with bun feet and removable caddy top are similarly inlaid

DIAL AND MOVEMENT:

The eleven inch square brass dial with large winged cherubs head spandrels interspersed by engraved foliage enclosing the silvered chapter ring marked Edward Bird Londini Fecit has a narrow Arabic minute band, Roman hours and inner half hour track, with elaborate half marks, the finely matted centre with ringed winding holes and small subsidiary seconds dial, Tudor rose engraved centre and ringed date aperture, the movement has SIX knopped and finned latched pillars with anchor escapement and inside countwheel striking on a polished and pierced bell.

The clock has its original brass coated weights and pendulum and works with a wonderful mellow "beat" exactly as it should.

EDWARD BIRD:

There are only 8 known Longcases bearing Edward Birds name from the last twenty years of the 17th Century...

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Two private clock collectors collaborated to stage an outstanding exhibition of early English clocks at the prestigious venue of Bonhams, New Bond Street, London in September 2018. Exhibit #94 was a Longcase by Edward bird and Joseph Knibb.

• Exhibit #94

An Oyster veneered olivewood Joseph Knibb floral marquetry longcase. c1680-5

The maker of this three train full grande sonnerie in a floral marquetry longcase, Edward Bird, remains a bit of an enigma! There is no record of him even existing in the Clockmakers’ records – yet here is this fine movement with early spring loaded rack striking rather than the gravity returned racks of later movements. The Tudor rose in the centre of the dialplate also has an early feel about it making this one of the first rack striking full grande sonnerie longcases.

Link: https://www.clockexhibition.org.uk/exhibits/10

Another extract from Bonhams says:

Edward Bird is an elusive maker; although there is no record of him in the Clockmakers Company archives, there are approximately 8 known longcase clocks dating from the last 20 years of the 17th century that bear his name. An ebony veneered example with rare repousse mounts is illustrated in Dawson, Drover and Parkes, Plate 378. The marquetry panels are particularly good in this example; the way in which the central urn rests on a plinth within the design is a motif favoured by, among others, Joseph Knibb

Here is a little information on Edward Bird that we do know....

He is known to have worked out of Exchange Alley in London, a long favourite of the best Clock and watchmakers of that time. Clockmakers who worked out of Exchange Alley were:

Robert Seigniour 1660’s

Daniel Quare who took over from Robert Seigniour in Exchange Alley in 1686.

Stephen Horseman App. to Quare

Thomas Dyde 1680

Jeremy Johnson in 1690

William Webster: post Tompions death

Tompion working 300 yards away in Lombard street.

Exchange Alley no long goes by that name. The street still exists, wedged between Lombard Street, Birchin Lane and Cornhill, but the name has been corrupted to Change Alley) there is no doubt that he would of worked along side the best of London’s pre 1700 makers and may of possibly been linked to the likes of Daniel Quare, Joseph Knibb & Tompion.

Following Acknowledgement to Peter Wilson:

Extract: Longcase clocks can normally be tied to an era and sometimes a geographical area by the shape of their dial, type of wood, case shape and decorative finish. London and Edinburgh were particularly well-renowned for the quality of their products, and among dozens of respected makers are Thompion, Quare, James Clowes, Edward Bird, Robert Sampson, Vulliamy, Benjamin Gray, the Knibb family and the Warner family.

A Fine William & Mary Marquetry Longcase Clock by Edward Bird

£16,995.00Price

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