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© The Frick Collection
© The Frick Collection
Movement: Edward East  (1602–1696/1697)
Longcase Clock, ca. 1675–80
Olive wood and brass on oak, walnut, and burl wood
79 1/2 × 16 1/8 × 9 in. (201.9 × 41 × 22.9 cm)
Bequest of Winthrop Kellogg Edey, 1999
Accession number: 1999.5.141
Not on View

The pendulum clock was invented in 1653 by the Dutch mathematician Christiaan Huygens, but it was developed, soon after, in England and France. This innovation transformed clocks into precise timekeepers. However, it was not until around 1669 that a type of escapement was invented that enabled pendulum clocks to keep time within a few seconds. One of the first English clockmakers to produce pendulum clocks, Edward East was appointed an assistant in the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, the English clockmakers guild, in 1632. He appears to have had a sizeable workshop and during his long career trained a number of clockmakers, including the celebrated Henry Jones. Such longcase clocks were introduced in England in the 1660s, and about twelve of them from the seventeenth century have survived.

Source: Vignon, Charlotte. The Frick Collection Decorative Arts Handbook. New York: The Frick Collection/Scala, 2015.