From the late 18th Century onwards, hand painted dials became very fashionable for domestic grandfather clocks. Named Japanning, the technique was employed to paint local scenes, moon phases and automata such as rocking ships.

Dial painting, or to use the technical term Japanning, is an art form in its own right and from 1795-1875 the process was used to create the very popular hand painted grandfather clock dial. Early examples are recognised for the simplicity of the artwork and use of floral motifs. By 1800 coloured backgrounds became the fashion, together with the use of shells, geometric patterns, local scenes and wildlife. The dial arches featured matching artwork for the moon phase or automata such as rocking ships. Comitti’s artists continue to create painted dials using traditional methods and techniques. The dial plate is given an enamel finish that is screen printed with numerals before the artist adds the decorative detail. Using acrylic paints and very fine brushes the art work is added to the corners, arch and moon phase or automata. Each dial is signed by the artist and Comitti can offer a bespoke service to create a dial decorated with the subjects of your choice.


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