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Roman Striking Longcase Clock: M.2-1965

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Roman Striking Longcase Clock


Production: Knibb, Joseph (Clockmaker)




Longcase clock with month movement and Roman notation striking.

Dial: gilt dial plate 10 inches square with engraved wheatear border, matted centre and cherub spandrels. Silver skeleton chapter ring with four o'clock shown IV, indicating that the clock has roman striking, and the minutes numbered individually. Silver sec¬onds ring. Faceted blued steel hands of the second type as classified by Lee, the circular hour hand. The day of the month shown through a square aperture immediately about VI. Signed at the base of the dial ‘Joseph Knibb Londini fecit'.

Movement: Month duration movement with five wheel going train and four wheel striking train. Roman strik¬ing, a Knibb invention which utilizes a small high pitched bell for the ‘I's and a larger, deeper toned bell for the ‘V's. This requires only 30 blows for twelve hours compared with 78 for conventional stri¬king, hence the use of a four wheel striking train. Butterfly nut adjustment at top of pendulum suspen¬sion. Separate cock for pallet arbor. The movement was not provided with maintaining power.

Case: Carcase of oak veneered with ebony except for sides of plinth which are veneered with ebonised fruit wood. Ebonised twist columns to hood. Hood con¬verted from rising to sliding forward but the grooves remain in the hood. The top board has been replaced, probably because the original contained a sound aperture covered with hessian. The side win¬dows are of the early type, the same height as the front opening. There are very finely carved ebonised crestings to front and sides of the hood. The trunk door and sides with raised panels. The trunk door lock and brass hinges are later replace¬ments. The bun feet also are probably replacements. Fine gilt metal mounts:- corinthian capitals and bases, swags between the capitals, finials, rare grotesque mask mount above trunk door and lenticle frame.


History note: Unknown before testator

Legal notes

Bequeathed by S.E. Prestige

Measurements and weight

Height: 209.6 cm
Height: 6'10 ½ ft

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1965) by Prestige, Sidney Ernest


17th Century, Late
Charles II
Production date: circa AD 1678

Components of the work

Mounts composed of gilt metal
Case composed of ebony oak
Ring composed of silver

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Joseph Knibb Londini fecit
  • Location: Basis of the dial
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.2-1965
Primary reference Number: 137656
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 31 March 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Roman Striking Longcase Clock" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-22 11:36:57

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