Circa. 1780 – George Period III Mahogany and Inlaid Longcase Clock by Lott Barwise of Cockermouth with a swan neck pediment and gilt paterae above fan inlaid pedestals and the arched door enclosing the painted dial with 8-day, two train, hour striking movement, centre date hand and moon phase above flanked by baluster turned free standing columns above a dentil and satinwood inlaid frieze.
The trunk has a long double arched crossbanded door flanked by fluted and stop fluted columns raised on crossbanded pedestals, the base panel with re-entrant corners also crossbanded and the whole raised on ogee shaped bracket feet.The inlays, crossbanding, chequer banding, complexity and quality of this rare example make it typical of the very finest of North Country Longcase Clocks. This model of case is often referred to as a “Whitehaven” case as the very best examples all seem to have been made in this town only a few miles from Cockermouth.
The falseplate is signed by Wilson of Birmingham. James Wilson was in partnership with T. Osborne from around 1772 to 1777 and they are widely credited with being the first real manufacturers of painted or japanned dials for clocks in imitation of the much more expensive true enamelling on to copper.Wilson continued to sign the falseplates with just his name after the partnership was dissolved. Wilson died in 1809 thus helping to date this example from between 1777 and 1791 when Barwise died.
Lit: G H Baillie “Watchmakers and Clockmakers of the World” Vol. I Lott Barwise, Cockermouth 1770-1791
Brian Loomes “Painted Dial Clocks, 1770-1870” Plate 28, pp18-22, 68-78
Clock-making in Cockermouth was dominated by just a few families. It is a fact that just four makers made well over 90% of the clocks in the town. The Gandys, Thompsons, but above all the Barwise, Mitchell and
Metcalf family. These clock-makers produced clocks of distinction. Lott Barwise was born in 1726 and he left home for Cockermouth in 1750.His son John who eventually left to setup the famous Barwise of London connection was born in 1755. He eventually went to London was married there in 1790. He found a premises in St. Martin’s Lane. John Barwise took his sons into partnership from 1819 to 1823 setting up Barwise and Sons. Clearly Lott trained John up in the trade of clockmaking. The exquisite workmanship is shown on this clock, and it was made when his son John would have been watching and learning from Lott directly.
The movement has just been cleaned and restored. It is now in perfect running order. It strikes the hours on one bell.
Note: The hands on this example are a so far unrecorded model with the diamond and pierced shaft. Similar examples are illustrated in Brian Loomes “Painted Dial Clocks, 1770-1870”. P.73 Colour Plate 6, plate 49, plate 202 and “Grandfather Clocks and their cases” p. 224 Pl 275 and P. 282 Pl. 366 “Barwise Hands”
H: 90”, 228.5cms, W: 21.25”, 54cms, D: 10”, 25.5cms.