The pendulum should be of seconds' length, at least, - if the clock has a seconds dial, the minimum pendulum-length can be taken for granted, - and the weights should be of the original brass-cased kind for preference, not merely coarse lumps of lead, as they so frequently are. In examining a case, always pay the greatest attention to the plinth and the base, after this to the slides of the hood. These are the places where restorations or additions are the most likely. Legitimate restorations are quite permissible. A case such as Fig. 409, for example, even if much restored, would be preferable to a mere ruin. The double plinth of this case is the correct and original finish of high-grade cases of this period, and should be preferred to other patterns. Additional feet under the plinth are rarely original.
As pointed out before in this chapter, the hoods of these early long clocks have no opening doors, the hood itself being made to slide upwards on runners, held in position by a click-spring while the winding operation is performed. Another ingenious device, to oblige the winder to open the bottom door, and thus to prevent the common practice of winding, vigorously, until the weight collides forcibly with the seat-board of the clock, was to lock the hood with a rocketting catch, which was only released by opening the lower door (see Fig. 413).
Fig. 421. John Davis, London. - 12-in square dial with added arch. 1730 type.
The square-dial clocks are the most interesting and also the most valuable. These early specimens, even at the present day, offer a chance, to the educated and discriminating collector, of acquiring at a price which is certain to appreciate in the near future. The same remark applies to the ebony-cased basket-top late Stuart and Orange bracket clocks, which will be described and illustrated later on. These clocks cannot be forged to deceive anyone with a slight expert knowledge, although the names of famous makers, such as East, Tompion, Knibb, Quare, Gretton or Graham are sometimes re-engraved on indifferent clocks, the original engraving being stoned out. A clock without a maker's name should always be regarded as suspicious,. as the rules of the Clockmakers' Company, - a powerful and autocratic guild, - obliged each maker to sign his work, up to at least as late as 1740, beyond which date custom resulted in the same practice being followed until the early years of the nineteenth century.
I have illustrated, in Figs. 410 to 414, full details of a long-case clock by Joseph Knibb, of a kind not exceptional, like many of the examples in Mr. Wetherfield's collection, - in fact, of a quality which it might be the fortune of any discriminating collector to find in country districts, especially in Oxfordshire, from whence Mr. Arnold purchased this clock early in 1919. It has been chosen for this reason, and also because its many virtues are not apparent at a first glance. To begin with, the clock is not only by Joseph Knibb; it is Knibb's workmanship untouched by the clock-jobber. The hour ring has been re-silvered and the numerals re-waxed, - and that is all. The hands are beautifully pierced and carved, and the cherub-headed corner-pieces are wellmodelled and chased. There is no seconds dial, although the pen-dulum is of seconds' length. The winding-holes are wide apart, - due to the unusual "planting" of the trains, - which give a refined appearance to the dial. The hour ring is broad (it must be remembered that the dial has not the delicacy, as it has not the quality of examples such as Fig. 398), with the minute divisions on the outer edge. The outside locking-plate is large, and spoked, planted outside the back-plate in the usual way with early clocks. Later on, this locking-plate is found attached to the main wheel, and inside the plates. A still later development is the rack-striker, for details of which the reader must be referred to "English Domestic Clocks." Joseph Knibb's peculiar square-section striking bell will be noticed above the dial, and the same fashion will be remarked on the other Knibb clocks illustrated in this chapter.
Fig. 422. An Example Of The Dial And Movement Of An Elaborate Long-Case Musical Clock.
Fig. 424. - Figs. 423 and 424. Dan Quare, London. - Month Striking Clock. Finely engraved dial and chased spandrel corners. Hands were finely pierced. Oak case veneered with burr walnut. arved cresting and corkscrew pillars to hand. Date about 1700. D. A. F. Wetherfield, Esq.
The pendulum bob has no regulating screw underneath, but the pendulum rod itself has a " butterfly " adjusting screw, and there is another above the suspension. The spoon-shaped rocketting catch, before referred to, which locks the hood when the lower door is closed, can be seen in Fig. 413. The hood is here raised on its coil-spring catch, attached, high up, on the backboard at the side. In addition to this, the lower rail of the hood is fitted with a keyhole, so that the hood can be locked. Joseph Knibb did not intend his clock to be wound by unauthorised persons. The case is of oak, veneered with English walnut of good figure. The hood has the Tompion type of cresting (refer to Fig. 397) centred with a turned ball.
Fig. 425. Case Of Panelled Ebony.
Fig. 427. Case Veneered With "All-Over" Marqueterie.