An antique Dutch longcase clock with rocking ships automaton, Casper de Specker , Dorderecht. ca 1750.
At the second half of the 18th century Dutch longcase clocks were often made on commission by merchants, ship owners or VOC officials (Dutch East-India Company). This explains why the movement was provided with an aperture to show the phase of the moon as this indirectly indicated the time of high tide, thus making it possible to work out the time when ships would enter port and trading would begin.
More on the clock:
The hood, of the original burr walnut veneered oak case, with a broken arched top pediment and fretwork, the door of the hood is flanked by pillars with brass capitals and basements. It is originally surmounted by two gilt winged figures, depicting the goddess Fame, on the sides and an Atlas figure in the middle (some damages to these wooden statues). The door in the trunk of the clock has a glazed cast lenticle, depicting Chronos, through which the movement of the pendulum can be seen.
Above the dial there is a rocking ship automaton with, ships on the roads of Dordrecht. Underneath the middle of the dial there is an arch-shaped aperture showing the moon phase and moon date. Above the middle there is a seconds ring, on the inside of which there is an arabic date aperture. At either side of the hands apertures for the days and months. The centre of the dial is matted and gilded, there are engravings around the moon aperture and inside the seconds ring, while the corners are embellished by gilt leaf spandrels.
The dial has a silvered chapter ring with Roman hour division, half hour division, (rich motif) quarter hour division, arabic five minute division and arched minute division.
The time is indicated by two blued steel hands on the silvered chapter ring. The seconds are indicated by a blued steel hand on the separate silvered seconds ring with Arabic five second division and second division.
The eight-day movement consists of going and striking train, driven by two brass-encased lead weights. The going train has anchor escapement and seconds pendulum. The striking train strikes the hours and half hours fully on two bells of different pitch (Dutch striking) and is regulated by a rack mechanism. The clock was also fitted with a weight driven alarm which is set with a silvered alarm disc behind the hands. Except for the disc and one remaining axe the alarm mechanism is now missing, hence subject to restauration. The alarm time is indicated in Arabic numerals on the disk. The clock is in running condition.
Dimensions: H. 255 (8,5 feet)
The clock is currently located in the USA (Georgia)