MADE CIRCA: 1754
MATERIAL: 22ct Yellow Gold
MOVEMENT: Verge Movement
CASE DIAMETER: 46mm
John Pyke was an eminent clock and watchmaker based in London.
Pyke was watch and clock maker to King George III and became famous for completing 'The Temple of the Four Grand Monarchies of the World', an incredibly ambitious musical clock that was initially constructed by the ingenious clock maker Charles Clay for the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Upon the death of Clay, Pyke took over the project which is described in a newspaper cutting dated the 31st December 1743 as: 'A most magnificent and curious musical machine ... The Musick consists of an agreeable variety of pieces, composed by the three great Masters Geminiani, Handel and Corelli; and properly adapted to the machine by Mr Geminiani. It performs not only in Concert, but alternatively on several instruments, in a most surprising manner, exceeding the performance of the best hands!' This clock can be found in the Cupola Room of Kensington Palace (Royal Collection no.1418)
Pyke's son George followed in the footsteps of his father and also became a watchmaker with an enthusiasm for musical and automaton clocks.
Timepieces by John Pyke can be found in such museums as the V&A, London and the National Museum, Stockholm, as well as several in the Royal collections of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
- The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is founded in Scotland.
- The Battle of Jumonville Glen: 22-year-old George Washington leads a company of militia from the Colony of Virginia in an ambush on a force of 35 French Canadians; this being the start of the French and Indian War
- King Louis XVI of France is born.