Edward Bilbie, Chew Stoke. A rare William & Mary thirty-hour musical longcase clock, circa 1695, the substantial three-train posted movement with four square section brass pillars riveted into the base plate and secured via brass nuts at the top plate, with verge escapement, outside countwheel bell strike and music playing every three hours via a 2.75 inch pinned cylinder on eight bells with twelve hammers, the movement raised on four steel spurs, the 9.5 inch square brass dial engraved with leafy tulip trails around a formal flowerhead and signed 'Edward Bilbie Fecit' to centre, within an applied Roman numeral chapter ring with stylised trident half hour markers and foliate cast winged cherub head pattern spandrel applied angles, now in a walnut veneered case with ogee cornice over rectangular door to hood and narrow trunk with slender door, on plinth base, 203cm high.
Edward Bilbie is thought to have learnt the clockmaking trade from Edward Webb, who died in 1694. Bilbie started casting bells in 1698 and it is highly probable that he was making clocks by this time. This clock bears a very strong resemblance to an example by Edward Webb (as discussed in Moore, A J 'The Clockmakers of Somerset 1650-1900' Appendix vii) thus may well be one of the first clocks made by Edward Bilbie. The level of decoration and attention to detail lavished on the arbors, collets and other parts of the clock indicates a great deal of pride by the maker, possibly supporting a theory that this may well be his masterpiece. The movement and dial have survived in remarkable original condition, however the case is almost certainly associated but of the period with later veneers. (See illustration on front cover)
Sold for £7,000
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