An outstanding and very rare '8-day' musical two train mahogany Longcase clock. An eminent clockmaker from this tiny village of Pittenweem in Scotland. Note his characteristic way of signing his dials as 'NORTH BRITAIN'. I can only assume this is a one off piece of work for a very wealthy London customer. The cabinet showing all the high quality London case features. The white painted dial showing gold leaf spenadrels and flowers to the corners, subsidiary seconds and calendar and moonphase with tidal times to the arch. The tidal times are by means of an indicator and hence could be set at whatever port the owner chose. A clock by the maker is pictured in Royal Clocks by Cedric Jagger pages 190-2.
Very little is known about John Smith. Previous to 1775 it does not appear he went out of Scotland. It does appear though that the clock pictured in Royal Clocks was taken to show King George III, but unfortunately the King had gone blind and was unable to inspect it. I wonder whether it was at this stage John Smith had purchased this cabinet for one of his clocks or whether he had already ordered one for this movement and picked it up on his journey home from the capital. He clearly must have been impressed by London cabinet making at the time. This case is absolutely stunning.