George III Adam and Eve Automaton Longcase Clock

  • London clockmaker James Fenton created this longcase clock with an incredible automaton
  • The automaton shows an animated Adam and Eve with the serpent winding the tree
  • The Adam and Eve automaton is an exceptional rarity amongst automaton clocks
  • The clock is powered by an 8-day pendulum movement with an anchor escapement
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-7084

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A majestic specimen of English clockmaking, this important longcase clock by London clockmaker James Fenton features an exceptional Adam and Eve automaton above the dial. Longcase timepieces that combine the mechanics of a clock with those of an automaton are some of the rarest and most incredible ever made.

Making the automaton even more scarce is the fact that it contains not one, but three moving elements. Eve lifts her arm offering Adam an apple from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, while Adam gestures that he does not want the apple. All the while, the devious serpent winds continuously about the trunk of the tree. Flanking the animated scene are lovely polychromed images of exotic wildlife, including a bear, leopard and even a unicorn, among others. Longcase clocks featuring automatons are rare, but the Adam and Eve motif is regarded by many experts to be few and far between. Contributing even more to the exceptional nature of this clock is its engraved brass dial and what is known as a "London style" case, of which this particular example is made of lush Cuban flame mahogany with recessed, doric columns flanking both the hood and trunk of the clock.

This outstanding quality longcase clock is powered by an 8-day period movement with an anchor escapement. Opening the case reveals a brass pendulum and a pair of weights that keep the mechanism going. 

The face of the clock tells time on the beautifully engraved chapter ring with Roman and Arabic numerals. A subsidiary seconds dial accurately counts the seconds, while a calendar aperture just below the maker's signature keeps track of the date. The entire face is framed by elegant gilt spandrels at each corner, giving the dial plate an air of splendor. 

Signed "James Fenton, London"

Circa 1780

20" wide x 10 1/4" deep x 89 3/4" high
George III Adam and Eve Automaton Longcase Clock
Period: 18th Century
Origin: England
Type: Longcase/Grandfather
Depth: 10.25 Inches
Width: 20.0 Inches
Height: 89.75 Inches

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