This triple weight grand Sonnerie striking “Vienna” clock was a gift from King Carol 1 of Romania to his Prime minister Tache Ionescu in the winter of 1900.
The solid walnut case has been intricately carved by hand and was probably made in Romania due to the style of the carving. The carved and pierced columns to the door are unusually made from one solid piece and must have been difficult to manufacture without making a mistake. The top of the case is carved on all surfaces with repeating symmetrical patterns and carries the initials T and C. The “T” representing Tache Ionescu and the stylised “C” for King Carol 1. The “C” has been carved in a style that is identical to King Carol’s emblem with a ball and cup to the centre of the curve.
The clock has been stained in a dark mahogany colour so typical of Romanian furniture of the time and is finished with handmade finials.
The Austrian Grand Sonnerie striking movement has been very well made and features maintaining power and a intricately made pendulum crutch. The perfectly white porcelain dial has a name that is now unfortunately unreadable due to wear and rubbing.
Along with the clock, there is a picture framed certificate from King Carol 1 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chancellor of Orders, numbered 2448 that details the appointment of Tache Ionescu becoming a member of the order of the crown of Romania in the rank of knight. Alongside this award is the actual Knight’s Medal awarded to him with a photograph of Tache Ionescu with his daughters and a separate picture of the King. As part of the provenance, there is a hand written text at the bottom of the picture from a direct family descendant that details the name of the person I acquired the clock from.
Tache Ionescu was a conservative and is recognised as having stopped the Balkan War from entering Romania. Take or Tache Ionescu (Romanian pronunciation: [‘take jo’nesku]; born Dumitru Ghi?a Ioan and also known as Demetriu G. Ionnescu; October 25 [O.S. October 13] 1858 – 21 June 1922) was a Romanian centrist politician, journalist, lawyer and diplomat, who also enjoyed reputation as a short story author. Starting his political career as a radical member of the National Liberal Party (PNL), he joined the Conservative Party in 1891, and became noted as a social conservative expressing support for several progressive and nationalist tenets. Ionescu is generally viewed as embodying the rise of middle-class politics inside the early 20th century Kingdom of Romania (occasionally described as Takism), and, throughout the period, promoted a project of Balkan alliances while calling for measures to incorporate the Romanian-inhabited Austro-Hungarian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina. Representing his own faction inside the Conservative Party, he clashed with the group’s leadership in 1907–1908, and consequently created and led his own Conservative-Democratic Party.
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