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Keith Piggott Horological Research.

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The Royal 'Haagse-klok':  

PART I. 'Horologium' reviews 'The Clock'.

PART II. 'Oscillatorium' reviews historic contexts and author's hypotheses.

This small Severijn Oosterwijck spring-driven pendulum-clock with strike-work* was published first by Paul Shrouder Hon.FBH.I as 'A Dutch Mantle Clock', (Horological Journal, BHI, Sept. 2008). Paul recorded the originality of movement and case needing minimal restoration, and alluded to its history. Dr. Jeff Darken, then Editor of AHS journal 'Antiquarian Horology' drew my attention to this so-called 'Dutch Mantle Clock'.

I recognised the clock's historic significance and contacted the BHI, subsequently, at Shrouder's workshop, I met the owner with his rare Hague-clock, NL. 'Haagse klok', or 'Klokje' (little clock).

Its case, uniquely, has a solid kingwood carcass (not deal) veneered in finest ebony. Its superb movement exudes novel technical features not seen on other Hague clocks, evidently by close collaboration with John Fromanteel, having the earliest* strike-work I'd seen in any Hague pendulum-clock, excited my horological head.

The owner only then disclosed his genealogy also their rare clock's history - a gift from a grateful Charles II when restored as King, given to his friend and personal banker John Shaw in exile, it fired my antiquarian head. RH review takes up that story. 

Readers not familiar with Christiaan Huygens' pendulum-era will find this Horological Foundation website invaluable, especially the Compilation of studies on famous Anglo-Dutch Contract dated 3rd September 1657 between John Fromanteel and established Hague clockmaker Salomon Coster - Huygens' pendulum patentee in June 1657 that led Fromanteel's son to enter Coster's expanding Hague workshop having Huygens' 'privilege' - a still unexplained alien access to Europe's hottest 'intellectual property'.

One long misread and still misunderstood clause alludes to a 'secreet', that cannot be astronomers' (Gallileo's) 'suspended-pendulum', nor its driving 'crutched-verge' already in the public domain as June 16,1657 Patent at the Hague Court. Anyway, the said Contract stipulates that John already had seen and made examples. It taxes us yet. Whose secret was it, who disclosed it? In its several novel-features also its hidden-constructions, Oosterwijck's little pendulum striking clock may have great relevance to that 'secreet'.

*RH, Osterwijck D9, and two Oosterwijck relics, three with strike ALL having 10 pins to 10 leaf pinions (10:10 strike), aids reviews of chronology and fixes Oosterwijck's priority for Hague striking pendulum clocks. All subsequent are 12:12 strike!

Keith Piggott

 


Keith Piggott Horological Research.
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