Fine and rare novelty silvered brass and ormolu tripod mantel timepiece by Thomas Cole, the movement with shaped back plate inscribed Boxell, Brighton no.1054, the 5.5" x 4.5" ormolu oval dial plate engraved with stylised flowering branches within geometric borders, enclosed by a gilt chapter ring with Roman numerals with further floral engraving to the top and bottom of the dial plate, supported upon three rustic knopped branches suspending a pendulum with cauldron bob over a fire modelled as gilded logs, upon a giltwood stepped circular base and under a glass dome, 24.5" high overall (pendulum and key)
*The left hand branch support is stamped with the no.1586 to the top
*See reference J.B. Hawkins - Thomas Cole and Victorian Clockmaking, published Sydney 1975, where this clock features on page 110, item 38. The entry reads as follows:
'A most unusual tripod clock of the naturalist school of design. In "The Analysis of Ornament" by R. Wornum, London 1856. Wornum, keeper of the National Gallery, London and Secretary to the Trustees states; "There is a class of ornament which has much increased of late years in England, and by way of distinction, we may call it the 'Naturalist' school. The theory appears to be that as native is beautiful, ornamental details derived immediately from beautiful natural objects must ensure a beautiful design. This, however, can only be true where the original uses of the details chosen have not been obviously violated; and one peculiar feature of this school is that it often substitutes the ornament itself for the thing to be ornamented'
'This clock is obviously an effort by Cole to keep in the height of fashion and is extraordinary by any standards.'
'The tripod holding the clock is made of cast brass silvered as imitation logs, these suspend by way of the pendulum, a lidded cauldron over a simulated log fire. The whole is executed to the very highest standard and whether one approves or disapproves, it must be considered as a premier example of the Naturalist School of Design'
*This clock was inherited by the current vendor from a great aunt nearly 50 years ago
Estimate: £6000 - 8000