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Lot No. 33
Lot No. 33
Estimate  25,000 - 35,000 €
This is a lot of the last auction!

John Joyne, Paris, Height 300 mm

, circa 1680

A French highly decorative, small "pendule miniature religieuse" in the Hague tradition, with half hour strike

Case: veneered ebony, very fine silver marquetry, windows to the sides, moulded pediment. Dial: silvered chapter ring. Movm.: rectangular-shaped brass movement, 90 x 110 mm, 1 hammer / 1 bell, verge escapement, going barrel, silk string suspension, cycloidal cheeks, steel pendulum rod and brass bob.

The ebonised wooden case of this clock is rather small for a typical Hague style "religieuse"; its sides are lavishly decorated with highly elaborate silver marquetry of animals and mythical creatures. The chapter ring is supported by two crowned lions and two putti holding the signature plaque.

John Joyne was active from around 1660 to 1700 in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris. He became a member of the clockmakers’ company in Paris in 1660 and was made a free brother of the guild in 1687. Another of his clocks, a small, rectangular verge clock signed "John Joyne, St. Germain Paris", is owned by the British Museum.

In his article in the Antiquarian Horology magazine, Ivan Slee discusses another side of John Joyne’s character – Joyne was not only a renowned watch- and clockmaker, but also a scoundrel and a political schemer who lived during an exciting period of English history, when corruption, murder and conspiracies were a daily occurrence. The conflict between protestants and Roman Catholics was raging and when Charles II came to the throne, England was also under pressure from the Dutch across the channel, who intended to take advantage of the weakened state of the English navy. At the same time Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) began his reformation of the Royal Navy, which would establish the foundation for the English power at sea over the next two centuries. The Whigs were strongly opposed to the king’s policies, however, and rallied together under the leadership of the Earl of Shaftesbury; one of the Earl’s followers was John Scott , an unscrupulous man with a history of violence. In 1675 Scott went to Paris where he met John Joyne, and the two of them teamed up to carry out various shady ventures. When rumours of a papal conspiracy spread in 1678, Scott murdered a magistrate and was indicted by Pepys; he escaped and once again went to Joyne. Pepys now came under attack from the Whigs, who were his political enemies; he was imprisoned in the tower on charges of treason that were most likely fabricated. Pepys was able to get in touch with Joyne in Paris through his brother-in-law, who convinced Joyne to help apprehend Scott; as Scott owed Joyne a considerable sum of money, Joyne agreed. Joyne received 300 pounds for his efforts from Pepys – he tried to blackmail Pepys into further payments but these attempts seem to have come to nothing. As he was made a free brother of the Clockmakers’ Company five years later, Joyne seems to have given up his criminal activities and concentrated on his trade. He was active as a maker until 1697; there is no information available on John Joyne after that date.
Case: very good
Dial: very good
Movm.: very good, capable of running

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