Lot No. 416 (92nd Auction)
Dent, Watchmaker to the Queen / Thomas Cole, London, 195 x 120 mm, circa 1850

A magnificent Victorian lapis lazuli and hematite mounted miniature chiffonier timepiece with moon phase and calendar
Case: brass, gilded, with allover lavish floral engraving, in the form of a commode, front and sides divided by three-quarter columns crowned with globes. Middle section with faceted glass opening for the hour dial. Above a drawer decorated with lapis lazuli. Concave corners with inlaid lapis lazuli and hematite, both side parts with a thermometer each, upper part in the shape of a commode, glazed opening for the calendar dial. Back side with allover lavish engraving of flowers, tendrils, fruit and fantasy birds; top part with additional landscape scene, lower part with additional hunting scene showing two horsemen in medieval attire and a squire with two hounds. Central opening with slide, decorated with an armoured knight on a horse, looking into the distance. Dial: silvered, lavishly decorated with foliage, hour chapter ring with radial Roman numerals, blued fleur de lys hands. Calendar dial: silvered, lavishly decorated with foliage and a maidservant with a dog, fan-shaped opening for the moon phase with silver-coloured moon phase disc before blued steel; below two silvered discs showing the day of the week on the left and the date on the right; in between screwed-on signature shield with "DENT". Movm.: rectangular brass full plate movement, signed, gilt, keywind, chain/fusee, platform with lever escapement, screw compensation balance.

A nearly identical miniature chiffonier timepiece is illustrated and described in: "Carriage Clocks - Their history & development" by Charles Allix, Woodbridge, Suffolk 1974, p. 238.

John Edward Dent
Dent was born in 1790 and started his career as a candle-maker before he turned to watch- and clockmaking. Dent is considered one of the leading watch- and clockmakers of his time who produced pocket watches, large clocks, chronometers and regulators. He worked for the Vulliamys and the Barrauds from 1815 until 1829, and became the partner of John Roger Arnold in 1830. The partnership ended in 1840 and Dent opened his own workshop in London. John Edward Dent's clocks, chronometers and pocket watches were much sought after even then and he also built the famous clock in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

Thomas Cole (1800-1864)
The well-known English maker Thomas Cole, himself the son of a clockmaker, was born in Somerset in 1800. In the early 1820s Cole moved to London and by 1845 was renowned as "designer and maker of ornamental clocks", which he exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. He was working in the New Bond Street as partner with his brother James Ferguson Cole. He worked then for James McCabe until the 1830's. Until his death he worked alone. Thomas Cole is rightly famous for his high quality clocks of individual, distinctive design, for example his beautiful engravings of scrolls, floral decoration and fancy borders.

Thomas Cole first exhibited his work during the Great Exhibition in 1851. He presented six unusual clocks, with two of them decorated with malachite. Cole also exhibited during the Exhibition in Paris in 1855 and in the Exhibition in London in 1862; in London the jury was led by Charles Frodsham and it honoured Thomas Cole with a special medal "for excellence of taste and design". The official report went even further to state that "...nothing could exceed the beauty of design and good taste of varied models and general excellence of workmanship. The foreign visitors seem all of them to have accorded the palm and were anxious buyers of his beautiful works".
Estimate  36,000 - 42,000 €

Price Realised  44,100 €
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