JOSEPH KNIBB, London c1674

  JOSEPH KNIBB, London c1674

An important Charles II spring table clock in an ebony “phase I” case.  The eight day duration movement employs a tic-tac escapement which Joseph Knibb is credited with inventing.  This clock also employs Joseph’s rare and ingenious roman striking mechanism whereby two bells of different tones are used to sound the hours: one bell indicating a ‘V’ and a second bell to indicate a ‘I’ so that at one o’clock the clock would strike a single blow on the small bell and at four o’clock a single strike on a small bell and a single strike on a large bell indicating one hour before five.  At six o’clock it would reverse the strike to indicate one after five, and at ten o’clock, two strikes on the five bell.  Clocks with roman striking are identifiable by the four o’clock being marked by ‘IV’ on the dial.  This ingenious, and yet often confusing striking mechanism, was designed to reduce the driving force required to strike the hours over a period of twenty four hours.

Visually, roman striking clocks can be recognised by the use of IV at twenty minutes past the hour instead of the customary IIII.

Clockmaker: JOSEPH KNIBB, London
Circa: 1674
Stock Number: 3847
Height: 13.5 inches (34 cm.)