Description & Technical information

A George III turtleshell and ormolu mounted musical automata table clock by James Cox.
The oak case is veneered with scarlet backed turtleshell; the bell-shaped top has gilt-brass foliate mounts on all sides and is surmounted by an urn finial on a pedestal decorated with panels of an Eastern man seated within a tent. The break-arch dial, set with ormolu scroll and foliage mounts typical of Cox, has a very finely painted ground and is signed ‘James Cox London’ at the centre. The music train plays ten tunes on thirteen bells via thirteen hammers, and the backplate and cocks are all finely engraved with asymmetric scrolls and foliage.
James Cox of London is best known for creating elaborate automata and mechanical clocks that he exported to China, Russia and elsewhere. Some were gifts to the Chinese Emperor Qianlong, many of which are still in the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing. Other works by Cox are in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, England; the Royal Collection; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

Date:  1780
Period:  George III
Origin:  English
Dimensions: 56 x 31.5 x 23 cm (22 x 12³/₈ x 9 inches)
Provenance: Private collection, London, England.
Categories: Furniture