Samuel Pearse, Axminster: A Mahogany Longcase Clock
A mahogany longcase clock of lovely colour with an eight-day duration movement that strikes the hours on a bell, the 12 inch painted dial has black Roman numerals, subsidiary date dial, blued steel decorative hands and is signed with the maker’s name S. Pearse, Axminster, the corners are decorated with painted and gold-leaf sheaths of corn to the top two corners and gold-leaf shells to the lower ones.
The false plate is embossed with dialmakers' name Walker & Finnemore, Birmingham which is repeated to the rear of the date dial.
The mahogany case has flat-topped trunk door, a plain base with shaped plinth & Devon-style cresting to the hood with a 'chimney' behind, which has the addition of plain hood pillars with brass capitals, the whole surmounted by three brass finials.
Height: 88 inches (223cms)
Samuel Pearse was christened in Sidbury on the 29th of September 1778, his parents being William & Sarah Pearse both from the South Hams area of South Devon.
He married Ann Bowdige, from Axminster, on the 10th of June 1806 and they had five children. Pearse is recorded as working in Lyme Street, Axminster, Devon from at least 1830 when he advertised for an apprentice. His first wife, Ann, died before 1828, the year he married Arundel Webber on the 30th of August. At some point in his later life Samuel moved with his family to Wellington in Somerset before moving, circa 1851, to be with his youngest daughter Caroline in Woodbury, Devon where he died in 1864 having moved into his own residence some three years or so previously.
George Walker & William Finnemore were a partnership of two of the most influential dialmakers in Birmingham in the first part of the 19th century. They are first recorded working in 1808 at Edmund Street although they were quite probably together for a few years before this date. Walker has a very distinctive style, or rather styles, using very angular and linear work as opposed to Finnemore's more floral and 'realistic' patterns. Indeed a psychologist has suggested, having studied the work of Walker, that he most likely suffered from migraines and was a schizophrenic. This dial shows all the signs of Finnemore's influence, especially in the use of gold leaf and in the use in the design of actual real, rather than theoretical, designs.
The partnership split up in 1811 after which George Walker's dials, having lost the shackles of Finnemore, became ever more flamboyant. A year or so later he was once again in a partnership with another influential dialmaker, Thomas Hughes, whilst William Finnemore went out on his own and started a dialmaking concern that stretched on for a number of years beyond his death, being run by firstly his wife and then his sons.