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Bracket clock

Bracket clock

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1730 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Markwick, James The Younger (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Case of wood, with japanned (painted) decoration

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr William T. Johnson

  • Museum number:

    W.7:1 to 4-1944

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54, case WN []

Object Type
Bracket clocks appeared in the second half of the 17th century, following the invention of the pendulum in 1657. Their name implies that such clocks stood on brackets, and sometimes matching brackets were supplied by the clock maker. More often, however, these clocks had no fixed position and were moved from one place to another.

Both the clock and its movement are signed by James Markwick the Younger. Markwick was admitted to the Freedom of the Clockmakers' Company in 1692 and became a Master in 1720. His father, James Markwick, was also a clockmaker (see museum no. 1148-1893).

During the first half of the 18th century a thriving trade in clocks developed between England and Turkey, and also Spain. Clocks made for the Turkish market were often engraved with Arabic numerals. Their cases were usually japanned and fitted with brass or silver mounts (see also museum no. 365-1897). Sealing-wax red, which was an English speciality, appears to have been a popular colour. Combined with gold, it evoked a sense of luxury and exoticism. Perhaps it was this that so appealed to the Turkish and Spanish markets.

Design & Designing
The case decoration is typical of the Chinoiserie style, which imitated or evoked Chinese art. The cloudbands on the top and base, and the rocks, flowers and dragonflies to the left and right of the dial, are all features of Chinoiserie design, while the gold diaper pattern, brass scrollwork and torch-bearing cherubs are European motifs.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1730 (made)


Markwick, James The Younger (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Case of wood, with japanned (painted) decoration

Marks and inscriptions

'Markwick, London'
Maker's identification; on the arched dial; signed


Height: 45.6 cm, Width: 26.6 cm, Depth: 17.2 cm

Object history note

Made in London by James Markwick the Younger (active 1720); signed 'Markwick, London' on the arched dial

Descriptive line

James Markwick the Younger; English 1725-1730 man.James Marwick the yr.London

From bracket clock, English, 1725-30, man. James Marwick the yr. London

Movement from bracket clock

to Bracket Clock, 1 new

from clock

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The cabinet-makers who specialised in making clock cases were often conservative in their design. Although this clock was made at a time when Palladianism was dominant, it was decorated in a style first fashionable in the late 17th century. It is japanned (painted) in imitation of Chinese lacquer decoration. [27/03/2003]


Clocks & Watches; British Galleries


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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