Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Precious Time: The John Pyke Clock, 1750

John Pyke, circa 1750
Painted Pine, covered in paper,
gilt, with gilt brass mounts
Purchased by Queen Elizabeth II
The Royal Collection

This monumental clock created by John Pyke in the mid-Eighteenth Century was not originally part of the Royal Collection. Its original owner is unknown, having been purchased in 1960 by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

An exceptionally fine case of pine has been overlaid with paper, painted with an intricate design, gilded and adorned with gilt brass mounts including a figure of “Victory” or “Fame” at the top. In addition to showing the equation of time, the clock also indicates the hours of the sunrise and sunset as well as the sign of the Zodiac. At one point, it housed a musical mechanism which is no longer in existence.

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