380 Bush Longcase Hood

380 Bush Longcase Detail

380 Bush Longcase Detail

Ref. No. 380


Maker

James Bush of London

Date

circa 1740

Wood

Oak with mahogany crossbanding

Height

7' 5½" (227cm)

Dial Style

Arched brass with
globe moon

Movement

Eight day

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A moonphase clock with a difference: it has an extremely rare spherical lunar display in the arch.

The unusual dial has separate indicators for the age of the moon and for the date of the month. Longcase clocks with moonphase discs, most often in the arch, are not uncommon, but even so, constitute perhaps less than one percent of all longcases built. Globe-moon clocks are extremely rare, require a more complex mechanism to operate them and hence were more difficult, and more costly, to make. They are very sought-after nowadays. The clock has another unusual feature in that, apart from striking the hours as most English longcases do, it also sounds the half-hours with a single blow on the bell, known as "passing strike" and with similarity to Dutch clocks of the period. The spherical moon itself is driven by a complex series of gears mounted on the rear of the dial (see photo). Subsidiary dials in the arch's upper corners indicate date of the month and the moon's age in days. The dial size is 14" (36 cm) wide by 19¼" (49 cm) tall-a large one by London standards, and the clock is contained in an arch-topped case made of oak and with nicely-aged mahogany trim. Corinthian columns to the trunk's sides make up the only decoration to a sober but solid and impressive case. James Bush was apprenticed in 1720 and a member of the Clockmakers' Company from 1729 to 1770. He worked in Tower Street, London, and made this clock in about 1740.

380 Bush Longcase Full

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