This enigmatic Dutch cabinetmaker was probably the case maker for at least some of Tompion’s more decorative longcase clocks made into the early 1680s.
Braem is later recorded as working at Windsor Castle between 1684-86, ‘inlaying ye step under her highness ye Duchess of York’s Bed done with several coloured woods in Resemblance of flowers, leaves etc. & for Inlaying ye step at ye foot of ye said Bedd, done with walnutt’, for which he was paid £33 6s 8d.
A number of Tompion clocks with marquetry cases are now attributed to Braem, including the small olivewood longcase offered by Bonhams New York as part of a sale of watches and clocks on June 6.
This 6ft 5in (1.95m) high case, which included oyster parquetry and marquetry panels populated by birds and flowers, housed a 10in (25cm) latched dial signed Tho: Tompion Londini Fecit and a six-pillar movement with bolt and shutter maintaining power.
It was probably made c.1680, thus pre-dating the numbering system Tompion introduced c.1682.
Other cases from the period attributed to Braem include an oyster-veneered longcase equation and astronomical clock in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum – and a clock dubbed The Hamburg Tompion that dealership Carter Marsh showed at Masterpiece in 2016.
Bonhams’ clock, estimated at $60,000- 80,000, went well above hopes at $130,000 (£97,000) plus 25% buyer’s premium.