Rare oval dial Longcase Clock by Thorp, Abberley


A rare and beautifully presented oval dialled longcase clock by Samuel Thorpe of Abberley (Worcestershire), dating from c.1810.

The rich mahogany case has a quarter veneered door, trunk and base with fine flame veneers to the door and base panel and with contrasting stringing throughout, a feature of many clocks of the Regency period.

The hood has a swan neck pediment with flower paterae, while the door has a double band of stringing to frame the oval dial. The hood pillars are very unusual, having a carved maypole effect. They have brass caps and bases.
The arched trunk door is flanked with fully round knopped pillars in the recessed corners .
The base has canted corners and a circular panel frames in marquetry stringing, and is raised on an apron plinth.

The highly unusual oval dial is beautifully painted showing Britannia both with a lion, and with an anchor. It has a rolling moon disk, the moons alternating with naval scenes. The dial centre has subsidiary seconds and date dials, vertical Arabic numerals within an outer minute track and is discreetly signed for the maker. The dial is attached to the movement by way of a false plate signed by the dialmaker, Finnemore from Birmingham.

William Finnemore (b1766 -1838) was firstly in partnership with George Walker as Walker & Finnemore, between 1808 and 1811. In 1812, William Finnemore later worked in partnership with his two sons William and George. The company continued until 1854 when it was taken over William & Richard Griffith. matching delicate fretted heart-shaped polished brass hands.

The eight day rack striking movement is of particularly good quality with deadbeat escapement with maintaining power, and is striking on a bell.

It has a substantial iron rod pendulum with a large decorative iron bob. The pendulum is rather different to a standard longcase pendulum – much bigger and heavier, and more in the realms of a regulator pendulum. The corresponding movement parts – the crutch pin and pendulum cock – are substantially made to accommodate it.

Samuel Thorpe was born in Madeley, Shropshire in 1765, and Free in 1786 when he set up in business in Abberley. He is well-known for his turret clocks, and indeed spinning wheels. He died in Abberley in 1838. He is know to have been master o at least two apprentices – Thomas Smith and Samuel Dowen.
In his book Clockmakers & Watchmakers of Central England, Joseph McKenna states that “there were some truly outstanding country clockmakers, and Samuel Thorp was such a clockmaker.”

Height: 95 inches (241 cms)

To be overhauled and guaranteed for 3 years.

Price includes delivery within mainland UK.

The link below is to an article about the maker.

Ref: M173

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