Long Case Clocks

               - Voltaire (1697-1778), French philosopher and writer

Ireland has a rich heritage in clock-making stretching back to the 17th century, but very few examples have survived prior to 1700.

Stylistically, Irish clocks were greatly influenced by the fashions of contemporary London and to a lesser extent, continental Europe. From the 1750s the Irish Chippendale style appeared. Dials were large and of brass. The cases were made of walnut, yew, mulberry and various other woods, as furniture fashions changed. Clock hoods were initially flat and followed the decoration of contemporary furniture, with corresponding architectural features. Later in the century swan-neck pediments became popular. As the century progressed the highly-engraved brass dials became plainer. Since long-case clocks were regarded as status symbols, they followed and reflected changing furniture styles, for instance Rococo, Neo-classical, Regency and Victorian.

Clocks in the Neo-classical style, with painted dials and broken arched pediment were popular between 1780 and 1820. As in other media, Victorian clocks showed a wide range of styles and designs and in the second half of the 19th century Neo-celtic motifs appeared as stylistic features on cases and hoods.

This long case clock is made by Robert Holmes, Dublin, in 1730

This long case clock is made by Robert Holmes, Dublin, in 1730.

It has a domed hood and walnut case door. Its domed brass face with openings below show the days of the month and phases of the moon.

The brothers Samuel and Robert Holmes worked as clock and watchmakers in Castle Street, Dublin.

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Long case clock by Alexander Gordon, Dublin, c. 1760

This is a Long case clock by Alexander Gordon, Dublin, c. 1760.

It has a mahogany case and is decorated with a grotesque head, shell, rosette and foliage.

The brass dial has both Arabic and Roman numerals.

 
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