Mantel and Table Clocks

Musical quarter striking table clock with calendar and automaton

    Musical quarter striking table clock with calendar and automaton

    Great Britain, London

    Circa 1775

    James Cox

    Bronze, metal alloys, glass, mirror; casting, chasing, gilding, painting

    59 x 34 x 23 cm, 18.3 kg

    Inscription on the dial: “James Cox London”, on the escapement controller ”Slow Fast”


    Bronze cast patinated composition of stone ledges, branches, leaves and flowers is the construction base. Gilded sea horses – hippocampus are placed on the ledge. Two massive branches with three-headed dragons support clock movement with lever escapement and two fusees – of the clockwork and quarter striking. Round glazed doors from both sides close a drum with the clock. Round silver dial with two central hands, black Roman numerals, minutes’ divisions and three small dials for showing seconds, weekdays and dates is behind the front door. The inscription is on the dial “James Cox London”. The movement engraved mounting plate with two cast bells, drums and escapement controller is on the rear side. Two-sided oval double bevelled mirror in rotating gilded frame, decorated with granulation is below the clock. Complex glass spiral construction imitates waterfalls and water sprays flowing from the chaps of fantastic animals. The master skilfully used the contrast between glazy gilding and dark patination to add special allure to his creation. The clock stands on four gilded cast feet in the form of massive plant curls. The automaton mechanism is fixed between the feet. A scene with separate moving figures is on all case sides. Sea bay with a fortress, a lighthouse, boats of anglers and a group of walking people is painted on the front side. A scene at the village smithery is on the right side. Three musicians and four listeners in plein-air are painted on the left side. The painting on the rear side features shows a rural landscape with figures of people and grazing sheep. The crank winds the automaton spring. A handle that fits into the bush on the front side winds the automaton spring. When the automaton is activated, glass spirals begin to rotate, the scenes come to life - boats sail, blacksmiths work, musicians play and sheep move. The movements are accompanied by the sounds of the musical movement with fusee, eight bells and sixteen hammers. Key for winding the clock with flat-shaped grip and rod with square aperture.