he superb early religious versed clock illustrated here, is an exceptionally rare example by John Ismay of Wigton. Originally made to just sit on a wall bracket to show off its large brass lantern movement - it survives today in a very original condition throughout. It is housed in its original rustic case which was probably made within about twenty years of the clocks making of c1718. Apart from ' Memento Mori ' engraved in the top corners there is a very rare verse engraved to the dial centre that reads:- ' Shun Sin least thou Lament, When Precious Time is Spent, And Death to the(e) is Sent, No Time then to Repent.' - From surviving known clocks by John Ismay - we now know that he numbered his earliest Wigton clocks. Here we can see that he numbered this example No.1 on the back of the dial - which is hidden by the date calandar wheel. Of course the number could be a batch number. - However because of the unusally fancily shaped back-cock and exceptionally - beautifully turned brass movement pillars (compared to his other 'typical ' early surviving examples)- this could possibily be his first clock as a professional clockmaker.
ohn Ismay was born at Thursby, a village near Wigton in Cumberland, in March 1699. He was apprenticed to John Ogden at Bowbridge in 1711, and was living in Tiffinthwaite at the time of his death in 1755. Today there are only a handful of clocks known to survive by him. Please see a very primitive clock by Ismay on this website - that is thought to have been made whilst still serving his apprenticeship under John Ogden.
Click Image to Supersize
howing a rear view of John Ismay's lantern type movement
with its beautifully turned brass pillars.
igned John Ismay, Wigton Fecit
' And Death to the is Sent, No Time then to Repent '
' Memento Mori'
' Shun Sin least thou Lament, When Precious Time is Spent '
ohn Ismay 30-hour
' And Death to the(e) is Sent, No Time then to Repent.'
' Shun Sin least thou Lament, When Precious Time is Spent ',
he interesting and very rare religious verse to the dial center reads:-