George III Black lacquer Tavern Clock
A truly rare and exceptional George III period Black Lacquer Tavern Clock by Henry Overall, Ramsey.
This has an access door to the right side and a shallow concave moulded foot. The shield dial is well proportioned and the broad moulded surround projects on either side of the trunk, typical of clocks of this period. It retains Giltwood finials flanking the arched top.
The decoration on the trunk door depicts four figures, one seated atop a barrel, trees, flowers etc. The trunk sides are filled with floral sprays. The base is decorated with a pagoda, an arch, a figure and a duck beside a pond, trees, etc. The dial is decorated with leafy scrolls in the corners. The brass hands have heart tips with long counterpoise to the minute. The chapter rings are in a contrasting off- white with both Arabic and Roman numerals in black. The movement with tapered plates, anchor escapement and four pillars , steel pendulum rod with brass faced bob and what may well be the original, large lead weight. Ca. 1770
Lit: English Dial Clocks by Ronald E Rose, See front cover, Plate 1,Plate 28, Page 70, for illustrations of very similar clocks.
G.H.Baillie, "Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World" Lists Henry Overall of Romsey as Ca. 1780 and known for a Longcase Clock in Lacquer as well as a watch.
Act of Parliament Clocks/Tavern Clocks: Tavern clocks became popular in inns, hotels and taverns in Britain during the middle years of the 18th. century and in 1797 the Prime Minister, William Pitt, introduced an Act of Parliament taxing every clock owner in the United Kingdom. This was very unpopular and was repealed within nine months but led to the belief that large, publicly displayed clocks came in as a result of the act and they became popularly known as Act of Parliament Clocks. It is surprising however how few original clocks of this sort have survived.
In this instance, as the clock predates the Act of Parliament by some 25 years it is correct to call it a Tavern Clock.