Art

18th century Fine Clocks by James Cox

mid 18th century agate-paneled and silver-mounted musical ormolu table clock with moon-phase indication
mid 18th century agate-paneled and silver-mounted musical ormolu table clock with moon-phase indication

Fine Clocks by James Cox
These exceptional mid 18th century agate-paneled and silver-mounted musical ormolu table clock with moon-phase indication were sold for £385,250 on 12 Dec 2012 in London. British jeweler, goldsmith and entrepreneur James Cox (1723–1800) was famous for his mechanical clocks, including Cox’s timepiece (powered by atmospheric pressure) and the life-size Peacock automaton, which is in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Cox was not only watchmaker and a mechanic, but also an inventor. He invented clocks with perpetual engine. Mercury served as the force, moving under the influence of the atmospheric pressure of the glass receptacle in a glass tube. And vessel and pipes were hung on chains and balanced by counterweights. According to Coke, when mercury under atmospheric pressure rose in the tube, the latter increased in weight, fell and the result was powerful strength for clocks. Their height was 7 feet.

Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Detail of Fine Clocks by James Cox

However, Cox himself was not a clock-maker by trade but a goldsmith and jeweler, producing many smaller articles in his own Shoe Lane workshop or through other craftsmen working to his designs. The most characteristic of these smaller pieces were necessaries, snuffboxes and caskets made of agate panels held in gold or gilt-metal cage-work. These luxury articles, which often incorporated musical movements and watches, were sometimes used as elements in his larger compositions

Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Standing on four elephants. Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)

Clocks by James Cox

Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Sculptural details
Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
London based jeweler James Cox clocks, detail
Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
A face in the curves of decoration. Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Exquisite Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
An elephant – detail of base
Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
London 1766. Fine Clocks by James Cox (detail)
Automaton in the form of a chariot pushed by a Chinese attendant and set with a clock, 1766. Signed by James Cox
Automaton in the form of a chariot pushed by a Chinese attendant and set with a clock, 1766. Signed by James Cox. Case: gold, with diamonds and paste jewels set in silver; pearls; dial: white enamel; movement: brass, partly gilded, and steel; the balance wheel and cock of silver set with paste jewels
Clocks by British jeweller, goldsmith and entrepreneur James Cox (1723–1800)
Old photo of Clocks by British jeweler, goldsmith and entrepreneur James Cox (1723–1800)
18th century Fine Clocks by James Cox
1962 Victoria and Albert museum exhibition poster
Jewel cabinet incorporating a watch, possibly before 1766
Jewel cabinet incorporating a watch, possibly before 1766. Signed by James Cox. Agate, mounted in gilded copper and gilded brass and set with painted enamel plaques, and fruit-wood. Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964
life-size Peacock automaton, the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Life-size Peacock automaton, the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Miniature secretary incorporating a watch, ca. 1766–72
Miniature secretary incorporating a watch, ca. 1766–72. Signed by James Cox. Case: agate, with gold mounts, gilded brass, pearls, and paste jewels set in silver; dial: white enamel
Necessaire incorporating an automaton watch, ca. 1770–72, signed by Cox
Necessaire incorporating an automaton watch, ca. 1770–72, signed by Cox
Necessaire incorporating an automaton watch, ca. 1770–72, signed by Cox
Signed by Cox Necessaire incorporating an automaton watch, ca. 1770–72. Signed by James Cox. Case: moss agate, mounted in gold and set with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds; silver; and mirror glass; dial: white enamel, with frame pavé set with paste jewels
Pair-case automaton watch, ca. 1770–75, Signed by James Cox
Pair-case automaton watch, ca. 1770–75, Signed by James Cox

sources
metmuseum.org/toah/hd/jcox/hd_jcox.htm
bonhams.com/auctions/19809

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