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Joseph Bowles, Wimborne, Late 18thC longcase

novicetimekeeper

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I have enough longcase, and I prefer earlier clocks. However I always look to purchase locally made or retailed clocks and this one was made less than two miles from our house.

I have seen a few of Joseph's clocks, I already have a thirty hour dial and movement, and I have bid before on a dial clock by his son Samuel. This is without doubt the best looking clock I have seen by Joseph, I only have the pictures you see but it looks pretty good to me. It has the earlier style moon roller with stars rather than rural or maritime scenes. It has an engraved centre, and also unusually that theme is repeated where you would expect to see globes on a more conventional moon roller. I like the legend around the arch too. Even has original glass in the hood, what's not to like? Oh and it was a bargain.

Both of the Bowles worked on the clock in Wimborne Minster which is one of the oldest clocks in the UK, Joseph Bowles worked with William Monk when he replaced the movement in the 18th century.

bowles4.jpg bowles3.jpg bowles 2.jpg bowles 1.jpg
 

Chris Radano

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Yes it is a handsome clock. When will it be home? I know that's not you hiding behind the dial, that's someone from the auction house.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I will pick it up a week on Saturday. I've paid for it, and I picked up some scientific instruments that had no bids on them at a knockdown price too.

They gave permission to use the pics.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Nice Find. That movement looks huge, or is that an illusion? I like the dial, moon, etc. a lot, but not sure I like the center silvered,

Tom

I think it is at least 12", possibly 13"

Silvered and engraved centres were a thing in the last stages of brass dials. followed by silvered engraved sheet dials. I rather like them, some of the engravings are quite sophisticated, the ships usually get the most money.
 

Uhralt

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Nice find! I guess the first thing you will do when you received the clock is to replace the cable with proper catgut.

Uhralt
 

novicetimekeeper

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Nice find! I guess the first thing you will do when you received the clock is to replace the cable with proper catgut.

Uhralt
Yes, that's all that needs doing. It won't be allowed to run, but it does now have an allocated space in the house. It has pushed out a London 30 hour, so it should be impressed.
 

JTD

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but not sure I like the center silvered.
That's exactly what I like the best on this clock. I think the engraving is very fine and looks perfect against the silver background.

Each to his own, I guess.

JTD
 

novicetimekeeper

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That's exactly what I like the best on this clock. I think the engraving is very fine and looks perfect against the silver background.

Each to his own, I guess.

JTD
It's definitely the best dial of his that I have seen. Dial and case have been heavily restored, but fortunately they left the moon roller disc alone.
 

Uhralt

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Are the hands original? They appear somewhat "heavy" and the minute hand is very long.

Uhralt
 

novicetimekeeper

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Are the hands original? They appear somewhat "heavy" and the minute hand is very long.

Uhralt
I think they might be modern pressed steel hands, I don't know till I see it but I did think they were probably replacements. I would think a serpentine minute plus spectacle hour is probably right, but those are too big.
 

jmclaugh

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I doubt you'll ever have enough longcases Nick but that is a nice one and in what looks to be very good overall condition, I'm sure you'll sort out those not quite right hands.
 

novicetimekeeper

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I doubt you'll ever have enough longcases Nick but that is a nice one and in what looks to be very good overall condition, I'm sure you'll sort out those not quite right hands.

It's getting quite cramped Jonathan, and it must be serious to remove a London 30 hour!

I have reduced the stock of orphaned movements and dials, but I think I have to get shot of one of my single handers now which is in its original case.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Well it is here and assembled. It is a magnificent bit of mahogany but I don't think it is original to the clock. Most of the case is solid mahogany, and I'm sure that wasn't likely in 1770.

However it sets the dial off very well.

I feel somewhere there is a painted dial that once lived in this case, and an oak case that housed this dial. That was popular with antiques dealier in the earlier parts of the 20th century trying to raise the value of their stock.

Next time the cabinet maker is here I will ask him to look.

The hands are all old but incorrect for this clock. Both hour and minute are too big. The second hand is a later style and has been shortened to fit.

The clock has a sticker inside with two dates, 2008 and 2015.

All in all I'm very pleased with it, whether it ever gets sorted out, well that's much further down the line I think.
 

zedric

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I’m sure you were intending to include photos so we could all see it?
 

novicetimekeeper

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Well it hasn't changed since the pictures above. But I will take some pics tomorrow
 

JTD

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I’m sure you were intending to include photos so we could all see it?
I suppose it is pretty much like the photos in post #1?

JTD

I see Nick was writing at the same time with the same thought! He beat me to the send button.
 

Chris Radano

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I suppose that wide chapter ring, with the Arabic and Roman numerals, looks a bit out of place in the mahogany case. But I certainly like that case. Kudos to Uhralt for noticing the hands, I thought the clock looked a bit "bling" but I couldn't put my finger on why. A fine clock with historical significance. Congratulations. I've been seeing some nice mahogany clocks coming up at auctions lately.
Those are auction photos, maybe your photos will look better.
 

novicetimekeeper

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When I picked the clock up I was blown away by the condition of the case, but it is probably 60 years younger than the clock.

The hood has some veneer I think, but the sides and door of the carcase appear to be solid mahogany. Also the plinth has some detailing I would have thought was later than the clock.
 

novicetimekeeper

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novicetimekeeper

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Well if your Bowles and it's case aren't original, looks like a perfect marriage.
yes, it's an incredibly handsome clock and I don't even like mahogany much. I think the Bowles case is far superior to this Shaftesbury one but the similarity in style is marked. and confirms it as an appropriate style for Dorset in the late 18th Century.
 

Chris Radano

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I would begin to think maybe the case is original. If everything checks out, except the wood type is not typical. Not every clock conforms to a textbook. But you are the expert.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes I think the case is original, I had thought that for a while now, and I think this other Dorset clock confirms it to my mind. The cabinet maker hasn't see it yet in real life, I've been meeting him in Oxford or he has dropped stuff off for me elsewhere, but next time he is down this way I'll get him to look at it. He can tell immediately if it is the right date for the clock.
 

novicetimekeeper

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Just rereading this I did promise another pic. It has been installed since the day it arrived so it didn't get much time for pics but here it is in place. It really is a handsome clock and apart from the hands pretty much all original, probably one of my best ever bargains and I only bought it because it was locally made.

That picture of Greenwich is from 1754 so they are pretty much contemporaries.

20210129_124150 - Edited.jpg
 

novicetimekeeper

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Ha, just realised the candlesticks are mid 18th century too, the house isn't though, that's an Elizabethan bungalow.
 

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