Raffety Fine Antique Clocks
79 Kensington Church Street | London | W8 4BG | +44 (0)20 7938 1100 | info@raffetyclocks.com

Antique month equation and year calendar longcase clock by John Topping, London


A fine George II period ebonised month duration longcase clock with original mirror plates to the trunk door and hood. The 12 inch break arch dial has seconds to the arch and strike/silent and pendulum rise and fall subsidiary dials.

Although it does not feature a perpetual calendar (missing out on the leap year extra day), the clock is quite unusual in featuring the equation of time, which is the difference between solar time, as given by a sun dial, and mean-time, which is the average of varying lengths of the solar days throughout the year. Mean noon and solar noon, at any given place, only agree 4 times during the year, at any other time of the year, the sun is before or after the mean time, and the numerical difference is shown to be either slow or fast. It can vary by up to 15 minutes or so over the course of the year.

The large cut-out below the centre displays a simplified equation table on a large ring which rotates once a year.

First line: Sun Slower - Sun Faster
Second line: The equation of time shown in minutes
Third line: The months of the year with their number of days in Roman numerals
Fourth line: The day of the month

This equation and calendar dial is set by means of the small square adjacent to 1 on the chapter ring.

The month duration movement has y-shaped plates joined by ringed pillars, with a raised central section for the anchor escapement to show seconds in the arch. It has unusual internal clock work and has hourly rack strike on a bell.

The well-proportioned case has ebonised pear wood veneers to the front and rare original mirror plates to both trunk and frieze

*John Topping was born in 1677 and was apprenticed in 1691 to William Grimes. He frequently signed himself 'Memory Master', however it is a mystery as to why he did this, except that his clock movements often had more complicated equation of time features.

Topping died in 1747






Excellent condition

Date: circa 1730
Width: 22.00inch (56 cm)
Height: 100.50inch (255 cm)
Depth: 11.00inch (27.94 cm)

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79 Kensington Church Street London W8 4BG | Telephone : 020 7938 1100 | Email: info@raffetyclocks.com
79 Kensington Church Street London W8 4BG Telephone : 020 7937 2220 Email: info@raffetyclocks.com