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John Sanderson 

of

Wigton, Fecit

A very rare late17th century 8-day religious versed longcase clock by John Sanderson of Wigton which dates from  the early 1690s and is Sanderson's earliest known surviving 8-day clock to come to light so far, thus making it an historically important clock for the Wigton region. The eleven-inch square dial has verses to the top two corners and to the dial centre. The chapter ring markings, consists mainly of meeting arrowheads and ' C ' scrolls (typical for this period). The outside chapter ring numeral markings have lovely curly tails to the 5s and the letter S (strike) which is a rally nice early feature. The chapter ring is signed ' John Sanderson of Wigton Fecit '. The date calendar is interesting in that it is set within an ' eye ' just like the primitive John Ismay clock which is also illustrated on this site. The dial centre is very busy having ringed winding holes, ringed seconds ring, ringed date calendar and ringing around the centre arbour. Below the seconds ring there is the verse ' Memento Mori '  ( Bear Death in Mind) and in the top two corners there are verses which read ' As time and cllock and all things pass away ' and ' A mend your lives for here wee must not stay '. Sanderson has also signed his name on the reverse side of the chapter ring.

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Above Showing the wonderfully interesting eleven inch square brass dial of the early John Sanderson religious versed 8-day longcase clock c1695.  Photograph by Lee Borrett

Meeting arrow heads with  'C ' scrolls, for half-hour markers plus the inclusion of the word ' of ' in his signature, are all features of John Sanderson's earliest known work, which I believe date from the early 1690s. Sanderson seems to have stopped using this type of half-hour marker about c1695 and then dropped using 'of' in his signature around c1698 when he was using a new style of half hour markers. I now know of four examples (including a true Lantern clock by Sanderson) that all have these features on their chapter rings.

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Above The top left and corner reads:-  ' As time and cllock and all things pass away ' Photograph by Lee Borrett

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Above. The top right hand corner reads:-  ' A mend your lives for here wee must not stay ' Photograph by Lee Borrett

Right. Meeting arrow heads with  'C ' scrolls, for half-hour markers plus the inclusion of the word ' of ' in his signature, are all features of John Sanderson's earliest known work, which I believe date from the early 1690s. ' Photograph by Lee Borrett

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Left.The Five-finned and ringed pillar  movement which amazingly retains all of its original wheel work and collets has repeat works. It has an early form of rack striking and also has a strike silent feature. Photographed by Lee Borrett

The clock is housed in a heavily built and very interesting pannelled oak case.  The trunk door is pannelled and is held in place by two primitive iron blacksmith hinges. There are two more oak panels below the trunk door and a further panel to the base. Originally the case may have been made to match a pannelled room.

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Right. The trunk door is pannelled and is held in place by two primitive iron blacksmith hinges. There are two more oak panels below the trunk door and a further panel to the base. Originally the case may have been made to match a pannelled room. Photographed by Lee Borrett

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John Sanderson was born in 1671 and was brought up at Tiffinthwaite Farm (near Wigton) where his father Robert was the blacksmith and they probably lived in the outbuildings on the farmland. It is believed that he may have served an apprenticeship under the Quaker Clockmaker John Ogden at Bowbridge in Yorkshire during the 1680s. He was back living and working as a Clockmaker at Tiffinthwaite from about 1691.

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank Brian Loomes for allowing me to use any previously published information and articles on John Sanderson and 'The Wigton Scool of Clockmaking'.

 

Brian Loomes is the authority on John Sanderson. His book 'Brass Dial Clocks' has a whole chapter on The Wigton School. This book is a must for collectors interested in this subject.

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