Exeter Synagogue Archive

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Henry Ezekiel

[Jewish Museum, London]

Mahogany eight-day arch-dial long-case clock by Henry Ezekiel of Exeter and Tiverton with a single-sheet brass dial (originally silvered) engraved with double arabic numerals for the hours and minutes, with separate seconds and date ring. The hour numerals are also unusual as they are vertical, and the 1s are very indiosyncratic with their tail-like flourishes.The dial was probably silvered originally. In the arch there is an engraving of a muse-like figure holding a medallion bearing the words 'Trade & Commerce'. The engraving, also with swags and arabesques, is typical of the work of Henry's brother, Ezekiel Abraham Ezekiel, as exemplified in his bookplates and tradecards. The mechanism is of the usual eighteenth-century four-post plate-framed construction, with gut winding. The pendulum is original, with a brass flat-strip rod. The case has had a later coat of brown paint removed, and the column capital and bases on the hood have been replaced after damage by woodworm. The steeple-style finials are original.

The clock can be dated from the following advertisement in the Exeter Flying Post: "The business of Clock and Watch-making will be carried on at the same shop by his brother Henry Ezekiel, who having regularly served to those branches, trusts his assiduity will equally entitle him to the favours of such as may honor the house with their commands. Exeter, March 8th 1795". As Ezekiel A. Ezekiel died in 1806, and Henry was in Guernsey in 1807, the clock must belong to the preceding decade. The inscription 'Trade & Commerce' suggests that this clock was made for a local merchant or businessman.

[Peter Wadham, Exeter]

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