407 Finney Longcase Hood

407 Finney Longcase Dial

407 Finney Longcase Door

Ref. No. 407


Joseph Finney of Liverpool






7' 2" (215cm)

Dial Style

Brass, 12½" by 16"

Price: SOLD

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An excellent eight-day longcase from the man who is probably Liverpool's most famous maker. Equipped with rare features such as a centre-seconds hand and engraved with city names worldwide, making it a "world time clock".

Loomes suggests Joseph Finney's date of birth is "c 1708" (died in 1772). However, I myself have had another clock by Finney which was probably around 1720, with his name beautifully engraved on the front plate. He would likely have been at least twenty-one when that was made, indicating that his date of birth could be in the last years of the 17th century. Joseph Finney is well-known for idiosyncratic clocks and made complicated astronomical examples as well as annual regulators.

This clock is made, in my estimate, in the 1740s. It has a brass dial of compact size, measuring an unusual 12½" wide by 16" tall (most are 12" x 16"), having a moonphase disc in the arch and fitted with the Four-Season design of spandrels. The attractive and petite case is of oak, has the so-called "bridge-top" design of trunk door and is mounted on ogee feet, a typically North-Western style. The case is 6' 8½" (201cm) tall without its central finial and an extra 5½" with it.

The movement is typically unusual as Finney movements are prone to be! Not only does it have the moonphase above it but also a Centre-Seconds indication, eight city names worldwide engraved on the chapter ring to indicate the time in those cities, and a Westmoreland-style calendar ring mounted off-centre on the rear of the dial. It has four well-turned and knopped, finned pillars and, interestingly, a groove running around the inside edges of the plates. On my previous Finney, the movement was equipped with its original dust covers, an exceptionally unusual item, but although these grooves resemble those on that clock, they are not deep or wide enough to accommodate a sliding dust cover. The movement plates themselves are of oversquare shape, being 6¼" (16cm) wide and only 5⅛" (13cm) tall, as opposed to the relatively taller plates fitted to most longcases. Some arbors are tapered and the backcock is unusually shaped too. The dial's name plate, engraved "Jos. Finney Liverpool" is absolutely original to this clock. Although it appears to be mounted over part of the dial's engraved design, its removal shows the design to stop short, proving it wasn't added later. The dial centre is beautifully engraved by a very competent worker.

The clock has recently been fully overhauled and is in full working order, striking the hours on a single bell. The date advances as it should. It will carry my normal 5-year guarantee subject to competent installation etc. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a genuine longcase by a famous and sought-after maker who made some of the most complicated movements of the period.

407 Finney Longcase Full