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Lot No. 605
Lot No. 605
Estimate  3,500 - 5,000 €
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Nicolas Vallin, Height 150 mm

, circa 1610

One of the earliest existing English tabernacle clock cases with concealed compass

Case: brass, firegilt. Dial: silver, engraved compass rose, single blued iron hand.

All sides as well as the floor are elaborately engraved with contemporary motifs, mythological figures and mythical beasts. Dragons, devils, angels and stags, mythical birds and the figure of Mercury cavort among flower garlands, strapwork ornamentation, flames and clouds of smoke. On top of the case sits an open-work, engraved dome for the bell; it is embellished with four balusters in each corner and a detachable baluster finial on top, under which a compass hides.

Nicolas Vallin and his father John (circa 1535–1603), a Flemish clockmaker, presumably emigrated to England around 1590, which was a time of political unrest in the Netherlands. Nicholas first worked together with his father and is said to have settled as a watchmaker in St. Annes, Blackfriars, around 1593. Nicolas quickly rose to become the most eminent watch- and clockmaker in London; both he and his father died in the plague of 1603.

Several clocks by Nicolas Vallin can be found in important museums: In the British Museum there is a musical chamber clock by Nicholas Vallin. The Science Museum's collection includes a small round table clock with an astronomical movement. Another circular clock with alarm and a small enamelled pocket watch are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A square horizontal table clock is held in the Musée International d'Horlogerie and in the Portland Collection, exhibited in the Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire.
Source:‌index.php?title=Vallin,_Nicolas, as of 10/24/2019.
Case: very good
Dial: very good

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