265 Seddon Longcase Hood

265 Seddon Longcase Detail

265 Seddon Longcase Detail

265 Seddon Longcase Detail

Ref. No. 265


John Seddon of Frodsham


circa 1740


Oak with inset parquetry stars


7' 3½" (222cm)

Dial Style

Brass, arched with moonphase

Price: £12,500

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This clock is truly exceptional in having a Grande Sonnerie (or "Great Chiming") striking system.

The striking system chimes each quarter on a nest of six small bells, and follows this by announcing the hour immediately past on a single larger bell, and performs this sequence at each quarter. Most Grande Sonnerie striking systems are fitted to carriage clocks, and sound on only two bells, and even on carriage clocks the system is uncommon, and keenly collected. With a total of seven bells, this clock's Grande Sonnerie system is rare indeed.

The chiming part of this sequence is conventional in that one run on the six bells takes place at a quarter past the hour; two at half past; three at a quarter to the next hour, and four on the hour itself.

This system is so rare on longcase clocks that it is thought there are fewer than a dozen of this type in existence. Seddon was known for making unusual clocks; another example by him with the rare feature of a globe moon in the arch was auctioned in Berkshire in about 2011. He was working in the early 18th century; this clock appears to have been made around 1740. The dial has wheatear engraving all around its edge, and the minute band is attractively arcaded in Dutch style.

In the arch there is an interesting moonphase feature which indicates the moon's age in two ways: there is an aperture through which show varying portions of a disc, silvered to represent the moon, and in front of the dial is a pointer which indicates the moon's age in days. The winding square for the central train is housed within a discrete silvered panel which bears Seddon's name and also accommodates the date aperture. Interestingly, to accommodate the three trains, Seddon has fitted the chime greatwheel to the front of its barrel and the other two at the (conventional) rear, so that the chime train is wound up anticlockwise in contrast to the others which are wound conventionally. However, the most obvious feature of the dial is the fact that the dial centre, and that of the moon ring in the arch, are filled with a background of black velvet: this is the only longcase clock I have seen with this feature, which gives the clock an exotic look.

The oak case has an arched hood which is fitted with a sound fret to the front. It has mahogany crossbanding trim to the base panel and the trunk door, and parquetry eight-pointed stars set in both these places also. The Seddon clock sold in 2011 had an identical design to the case, suggesting that the same cabinetmaker made it.

265 Seddon Longcase Full