John Taylor, London for Gilbertson of Ripon: A Quarter Chiming Bracket Clock
A lovely quality three train, bell-top mahogany bracket clock.
The six-pillar, triple-fusee movement has the original verge escapement and strikes the hours on a large bell and the quarters on three further bells, with a fully engraved backplate of floral and rococo decoration.
The eight-inch arched dial has a solid silvered centre engraved with the name John Gilbertson, Rippon and with a sweep centre date, the date numerals engraved to the inner aspect and indicated by a brass hand. The chapter ring is engraved with black Roman hour numerals and Arabic five minute markings. The decorative hands are of blued steel and to the four corners are floral and rococo cast brass spandrels, with further spandrels to the arch either side of the silvered strike/silent dial.
The mahogany bell-top case has cast brass finials, cast brass feet, with cast 'cherub-head' fretwork to the sides and with brass carrying handles above each. The fluted block to the top is surmounted by a further brass finial and has gilded wood scroll work to either side.
The quality and style of this clock would indicate that Gilbertson 'bought-in' the clock from London as it is almost identical to those from the workshops of the well-regarded maker John Taylor. Of special note is the engraved decoration to the backplate and distinctive double line to he backplate edge, the shape of the verge apron, the shape of the hammer heads, as well as the positioning of the bells. The case has identical mounts to those seen by Taylor, including the feet, side frets and finials. The dial and engraving is almost identical to that used by Taylor, especially the engraving to the chapter ring and inner aspect showing the date, as are the rather distinctive hands and spandrels. But the main proof is the signature engraved to the dial centre where the 'John' of John Gilbertson is identical to the 'John' engraved on clocks by John Taylor down to the swirl at the end. All of which establishes this as a clock made in the workshops of this renowned maker.
Height: 23 inches (63.5cms)
This clock is illustrated and described in Ripon’s Clockmakers by David F. Severs, pages 54-57.
John Gilbertson is recorded as working in Rippon (Ripon), Yorkshire from about 1750 until his death in 1793.
A longcase clock by him is illustrated in Clockmakers of Northern England by Brian Loomes.
C.L. Reid, in North Country Clockmakers, notes that some clocks by him have the name Ripon spelt Rippon, as seen with this clock.
Gilbertson was recorded as a clockmaker in the Universal British Directory of 1790-95, a list of which was published in The Yorkshire Evening Post, July 25th, 1908.