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John Oliver (1682-1766)

Biography of English clockmaker John Oliver (1682-1766)

John Oliver (1682-1766) was an English clockmaker born in 1682. He is recorded as working in Manchester from at least 1713 when he took on his first apprentice, Thomas Cheetham, having married Elizabeth Rydings in February 1712 with whom he had a number of children including Richard Oliver, an Attorney at Law, who arranged the sale of his entire stock in 1749.

Having retired at sixty-seven, Oliver's clockmaking business was taken over by another son, also John Oliver, who announced his intention to return to Manchester from London in July 1751.

John Oliver died, aged 84, in January 1766 and was buried at St Ann's Church.

John Oliver (Senior) was known as a maker of clocks with a moon phase set within the arch, with an example illustrated in Greater Manchester Clocks & Clockmakers by Edmund Davies (Mayfield Books, 2007), page 226, plate 7.111. A clock dial by Oliver is also illustrated in colour on the front cover of the same publication.

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Lot FS22/826: John Oliver, Manchester A Mahogany Moonphase Longcase Clock

John Oliver, Manchester a mahogany moonphase longcase clock the eight-day duration movement striking the hours on a bell, the twelve-inch brass breach-arch dial having a raised silvered chapter ring engraved with black Roman numerals, flame half-hour markings, diamond half quarter-hour markings and signed John Oliver, Manchester, the matted dial centre with ringed winding holes, subsidiary seconds dial and date aperture, with Indian-head cast spandrels to the four corners with wheatear border engraving, with blued decorative steel hands, the arch with a penny-moon aperture within a silvered date ring showing the moon date via a blued steel hand, the oak case having a double caddy top to the hood, with the full pillars having giltwood capitals and fretwork to the arched frieze, with a shaped top to the trunk door, height 228cms.

Estimate: £800 - £1,200
Realised: £1,000