wonderfully original and interesting hook- and-spike wall clock made by Thomas Gilkes at the Quaker settlement of Sibford Gower in Oxfordshire from around c1720.The wafer thin, solid nine inch square brass dial has the twin cherub and crown (with cross) spandrels, attatched to the corners and zig-zag engraving to the dial centre. The original iron hand (with long tail) is retained and the chapter ring is signed ' Gilkes Sibford '. The iron and brass birdcage movement with hoop and spurs is in an untouched and original condition throughout and has some nice early individual features including some interesting iron work - for example :- the nicely shaped iron tapoured arbours - have no seperate collets. Instead the tapoured arbours are attatched directly to the wheels. This shows me that Thomas Gilkes was still using 17th century techniques during the early part of the 18th century. Quaker Clockmaker,Thomas Gilkes was born in Sibford Gower in about 1665. He was the son of Thomas Gilkes Senior - who back in the 1650s (with the guidance of George Fox) - had helped set up the first Quaker Meeting House in Sibford Gower. The exact date is not known when Thomas Gilkes first started to make clocks at Sibford Gower, but it was probably during the 1690s. There is no known record of where he learnt his trade, but it is thought that he may have been apprenticed to a fellow Quaker; possibly Richard Gilkes of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London (assumption only). Thomas Gilkes trained two of his sons as clockmakers: Thomas Gilkes (b.1704, d.1757), who after finishing his apprenticeship at Sibford - worked both as a clockmaker and a Quaker Minister at Charlbury , and Richard Gilkes (b.1715, d.1787) who after having served his apprenticeship- set up his own clockmaking business in West Adderbury and went on to become a prolific maker. John Fardon (b.1700, d.1743) of Deddington also served his apprenticeship with Thomas Gilkes in Sibford. ThomasGilkes of Sibford pioneered a clockmaking industry in north Oxfordshire villages with such success that his fellow-Quakers, including several further members of the Gilkes and Fardon families, dominated the trade in parts of the district for the next 150 years. Thomas Gilkes of Sibford died in 1743.
n my opinion, this clock represents the genesis of the Gilkes clockmaking buisness which was located at Sibford Gower from as early as the late seventeenth century. Headed by Thomas Gilkes - this is where Clockmaking began for the Gilkes families and I am only too proud to illustrate a very original example, which was not only made by the first domestic clockmaker of Sibford but for which - also has an important link to the earliest Quakers of Sibford Gower and George Fox.
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