Horological masterworks

Photograph of a clock

14 July 2003 - 7 September 2003

More than 50 of the finest 17th century clocks are on show at Walker Art Gallery as part of a special exhibition.

Thomas Tompion, table clock These exquisite masterpieces are all from private collections and are not usually on public show. They have been brought together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Antiquarian Horological Society, which is dedicated to the study of historic clocks and timepieces. This is a rare opportunity to see such a fine collection of early clocks together.

The clocks date back as far as 1600, when Queen Elizabeth I was still on the throne in England. The century that followed saw rapid advancements in technology and design, with some of the country's most celebrated clockmakers at work.

The exhibition reflects the exciting developments of the age, including an astronomical drum timepiece, lantern clocks, architectural table clocks, bracket clocks, grandmother and grandfather clocks.

Daniel Quare, bracket clock Not only are these 'masterworks' beautiful to look at, they also make wonderful evocative sounds and feature various chimes and bells which strike at different intervals. Most of the clocks on display are in full working order.

Makers featured in the exhibition are Thomas Tompion, Samuel and John Knibb, Nicholas Vallin, Edward East, Simon Bartram, John and Ahasuerus Fromanteel, John Hilderson, Edward Stanton, William Clement. Henry Jones, Daniel Quare and Christopher Gould.

A total of 53 clocks are on show including 37 cased and 16 long cased. The exhibition comes to Walker Art Gallery from the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.