The Exeter Clock

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The Exeter Clock

For many years the Exeter clockmaker Jacob Lovelace laboured to construct this fantastically elaborate musical clock, which he completed in 1739. This lithograph by Hackett of Exeter, published in 1833, records the intact clock. It stood 10 feet (3m) high on its richly carved cabinet. The upper part of the case contained the clock, organ movement and pipes, while the lower part of the case, with its doors open, displayed a painted diorama. The belfry in the centre contained several 'ringers' who moved in time with the music as the organ played.

The clock was bought in the mid 19th century by the great Victorian collector Sir Joseph Meyer, who donated it to Liverpool Museum, now part of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside. During bomb damage to that museum in World War II it was mutilated and portions destroyed. Sadly, the remaining portions are neither playable nor restorable.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum