New Tho: TOMPION Automatopæus

Tho: TOMPION Automatopæus


£ 2,450.00

Rare original mezzotint portrait, circa 1695.

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Engraved by John Smith after the original painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller showing Thomas Tompion (1630-1713), truly the 'Father of English Watchmaking' rather than Clockmaking, as is usually quoted. Image size 14 x 10 inches.

John Smith studied mezzotint engraving under Isaac Beckett and Jan Vander Vaart. He became the favourite engraver of Sir Godfrey Kneller, whose paintings he extensively reproduced. NB: The original painting is part of the BHI collection, now at Upton Hall, and is the reverse of the engraving, Tompion shown holding the watch in his right hand. The painting is described by Symonds as "being ruined by over cleaning and a great part of face repainted by an unskilled restorer," although I understand it has recently undergone a new restoration

Very slight browning, as usual, the central image very fine and of better contrast than usually found. Trimmed close to plate mark and has been framed but is now on its own.