A rare small lacquered tavern timepiece by Charles Penney of Bristol (Bristol, )

A rare small lacquered tavern timepiece by Charles Penney of Bristol
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A rare small lacquered tavern timepiece by Charles Penney of Bristol

OriginBristol
DateCirca 1785
A very unusual late 18th century lacquered tavern timepiece by this member of a well-known West Country family of clockmakers.

The teardrop style of the very unusual case is of traditional style with its rounded base and ogee shaped sides. Above the door is the maker’s signature CHAS. PENNEY BRISTOL which is set in a reserve. The long door, with its rounded top and base, reveals a boldly painted oriental gilt figure standing under a large spray of flowers and foliage. The trunk sides are filled with sprays of chrysanthemums.

The wood dial is turned from a single piece of wood to a finely shaped, convex surface – a distinctive feature, many dials being flat. The narrow edge moulding is heightened with a gilt band. The chapter ring is very well laid out with Roman hours and outside five minute marks. The brass hands have heart tips, the minute with counterpoise. The 8-day timepiece movement has A shaped plates, a long pendulum and period lead weight.

Height: 46 in (117 cm)
Dial diameter: 20 ½ in (52 cm)

Literature

Charles Penney was at 61 Broad Street, Bristol from 1781 to 1797 and then in Corn Street until 1801. We know of two lacquered tavern clocks by this maker which were slightly smaller and of more conventional form. The charming decoration and shape of this clock make it very special.

Bibliography:
The Clockmakers of Bristol by A J Moore.
The Tavern Clock by Martin Gatto pp.159-160

Signed / Inscribed

CHAs. PENNEY BRISTOL