English Lantern Clock, Auction Purchase

bwclock

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Earlier this year I purchased the English lantern clock described below, at auction. The auction description called the clock a "Modern Lantern Clock" and elaborated as follows:
Modern lantern clock, dial with Roman numeral chapter ring inset with black paint, engraved brass center, pierced hands, fusee drive, hour bell mounted above, partially masked by pierced frets, height 14 inches. CONDITION: Mvt: Running when wound, does not appear to be keeping time and will either need a service or regulation, fine-plus cosmetic mvt condition overall, tarnished plates; excellent dial with light paint loss in engraved Roman numerals; excellent hands; case finial has broken off and will need to be properly repaired.

There have been numerous comments over the years about old lantern clock cases being "up-dated" with fusee movements. Some individuals decrying the practice and others pointing out that at least part of a historical clock which might have been relegated to the scrap heap still survives. Sure, it would be great to have this clock with its original escapement and while we are at it, why not an original bracket, to boot. Realistically, the chain fusee movement is not the first modification this clock has endured.

The clock arrived without shipping damage as was as described in the auction, complete with its broken-off top finial. Upon removing the chapter ring the signature of the original maker was revealed. Richard Lord, who was admitted to the Clockmakers' Company as a Free Brother in 1632. The discovery of the name lead to an interesting and fun series of communications about this clock, other lantern clocks and early 17th. century English horological history with an individual who has written extensively about English lantern clocks.

My correspondent knows of one other lantern clock signed by Richard Lord (formerly with balance wheel escapement) and a possible third which is similar but unsigned. I found photos of the other signed Lord lantern clock and there are many similarities(frets, feet, finials, engraving...) between it and the example here. In the other Lord clock the shield is blank, i.e., not engraved with initials as the present clock is.

The chain fusee movement works properly All I have done to the clock is re-wax and re-silver the alarm and chapter rings and clean and wax the case. I did not polish the brass least the clock look shiny. I repaired the broken top finial. The existing bell is a large and very thick bell with a repaired crack and which does not sound good, having a "thunky" sound. For the meantime I put another bell on the clock pending efforts to fix the crack in the old bell. Detail photos of the old bell are included here. The last photo shows the old bell sitting on top of the clock in a vain attempt to show a side-by-side bell size comparison. Regardless, the auction house photo shows the clock with the proper bell.

Below are various photos, the first one being the auction house main photo. Some of these photographs are detail photos requested by my correspondent. One photo of the chapter ring shows that some of the original lay-out scribe marks were not polished out completely, which detail may be noted on some other lantern clock dials. Maybe this detail was considered unimportant as these early clocks were mounted high on the wall to increase their running time and lighting must have been sketchy at best.
Bruce

Auction photo.jpg Richard Lord Lantern Clk. dimensions..jpeg dirty signature.jpg Richard Lord Signature.jpg bell bracket.jpeg fret attachment.jpeg scribe mark on dial.jpg bottom of case.jpg iron back inside.jpg iron back, outside.jpg top insdie, view 2.jpg top inside view 3.jpg top inside, view 1.jpg bell crack.jpg bell hole.jpg bell comparison.jpg
 
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novicetimekeeper

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I know little about Lantern clocks, though somebody kindly bought me the definitive work on the subject and I am learning.

I do know you can have the bell repaired though as I have one that has been and it sounds fine.It may need dressing after welding to retune it.

I agree, without the conversion to fusee many historical records would be lost. You need to change the name to Lord though, you started off with Cox.
 

Jevan

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A very similar early lantern clock sold in Philadelphia in 2017 having suffered the same fate as your clock.

The clock is signed on the fret Richard Child and while a dialplate signature might be considered more reliable I believe the name coincides with the period of the clock.

The almost mirror image of some features may possibly suggest the two clocks were made in the same workshop.

The Child clock was described as Victorian and "Bearing the signature of Richard Child & William Pace 19th Century", I assume Pace was the maker of the later movement.

Capture.JPG

11.JPG
 

bwclock

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I know little about Lantern clocks, though somebody kindly bought me the definitive work on the subject and I am learning.

I do know you can have the bell repaired though as I have one that has been and it sounds fine.It may need dressing after welding to retune it.

I agree, without the conversion to fusee many historical records would be lost. You need to change the name to Lord though, you started off with Cox.
Hi Nick,

Thanks for spotting my typo of "Cox" for "Lord" and for mentioning it. Once posted, there is no way to edit the listing so I will have to live with the shame. Despite reviewing and editing my comments three separate times as a matter of course before hitting "Post Reply", mistakes manage to get published.

Regarding the bell, my hope is that the prior repair was not done with high temperature brazing, thus taking the temper out of the bell. I will see if I can improve the sound. As it sits it does have a tiny bit of resonance and, frankly, I do not know what it should sound like anyway. The wall on this bell is really thick and thus may not produce as clear a sound as a bell with thinner walls. Bruce
 

bwclock

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A very similar early lantern clock sold in Philadelphia in 2017 having suffered the same fate as your clock.

The clock is signed on the fret Richard Child and while a dialplate signature might be considered more reliable I believe the name coincides with the period of the clock.

The almost mirror image of some features may possibly suggest the two clocks were made in the same workshop.

The Child clock was described as Victorian and "Bearing the signature of Richard Child & William Pace 19th Century", I assume Pace was the maker of the later movement.

View attachment 687351

View attachment 687353
Hi Jevan,

Thanks for the information and photos of the Child lantern clock. I checked the auction records for more photographs of the Child clock the but they had no additional ones. Baillie's book has a Richard Child CC in London in 1632. It would have been interesting to know if there is a signature under the chapter ring of the Child clock. Lord, being in Whitechapel, may have wholesaled clocks to clockmakers within the City of London wall. Then again, maybe Lord and Child sourced their parts and engraving services from the same individuals. Lots of questions; very few definitive answers. Bruce
 

novicetimekeeper

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The interesting thing about those two clocks is they have the same line through the V

I have asked a mod to change Cox to Lord for you, by clicking report on the post and explaining the problem
 

bwclock

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The interesting thing about those two clocks is they have the same line through the V

I have asked a mod to change Cox to Lord for you, by clicking report on the post and explaining the problem
Hi Nick,

Thank you for getting my mistake corrected. I did not realize how to do it. Yes, that scribe mark at "V" sticks out like a sore thumb on both. It is also interesting that the VII alignment mark on the Child slides through the "V" whereas on the Lord it is hidden in the first "I". Apparently number placement was not an exact science. Among other differences between the two is the alarm disc on the the Child having Arabic rather than Roman numerals. I have not researched to see if there was a preference. In fact, I have looked at two hundred examples or more examples of lantern clocks, studying frets, turnings and engraving and never once thought about the numeral type on the alarm disc. Bruce
 

Jevan

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There is another Richard Child lantern clock illustrated on the Brian Loomes website.
"Mid seventeenth century lantern clock, Richard Child in Fleet Street, London, single fusee conversion timepiece"

Brian & Joy Loomes: antique clocks for sale - longcase, bracket, lantern: Archive Page 19

It has some similarities to the Philadelphia clock but it would be difficult to visually associate them without doubt were they not both signed Child, of the two makers & two similar clocks in discussion this may possibly sway the attribution of maker towards Lord.

Below is a higher resolution image of the Philadelphia Richard Child, I would guess the top & bottom plate is replaced during the movement "upgrade" and the signature might be a little more convincing.

The smaller image was found in Pinterest

1.jpg 2.JPG
 
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Jevan

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Although I really don't doubt its originality you could make an argument that the engraving to the left was laid out for a larger inside diameter chapter-ring.
By the same token though it is not uncommon for engraving to pay little regard to the area to which it was apparently intended, for example mid-spandrel floral engraving in late 17th Century longcase dials often seems to "slip" off the edge & signatures have been known to partially sneak under chapter-rings.

x.JPG
 

novicetimekeeper

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Yes I've noticed that engraving have a tendency to run under chapter rings at times. It is a bit odd given the engraver usually has the chapter ring to engrave too but it doesn't seem to indicate a problem.

As to replacing top and bottom plates I think the norm is to cap the top plate, presumably to keep dust out, you can usually see the original from underneath. The bottom often gets a cutout for the pendulum
 

Jevan

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A few posts back I suggested the Child signature might have been nicer vaguely inferring I was less than convinced of its originality... which on reflection was unfair.

Looking closer at the Lord engraving the word Richard is so stylistically similar to the Child signature I have changed my opinion.
I am still of the opinion the engraving is not of the finest quality but it is very hard to imagine that the two examples could be that similar had they not been executed by the same hand, especially as the Lord engraving was normally hidden.

ee.JPG
 
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bwclock

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Yes I've noticed that engraving have a tendency to run under chapter rings at times. It is a bit odd given the engraver usually has the chapter ring to engrave too but it doesn't seem to indicate a problem.

As to replacing top and bottom plates I think the norm is to cap the top plate, presumably to keep dust out, you can usually see the original from underneath. The bottom often gets a cutout for the pendulum
Yes I've noticed that engraving have a tendency to run under chapter rings at times. It is a bit odd given the engraver usually has the chapter ring to engrave too but it doesn't seem to indicate a problem.

As to replacing top and bottom plates I think the norm is to cap the top plate, presumably to keep dust out, you can usually see the original from underneath. The bottom often gets a cutout for the pendulum
I, too, have noticed the engraving irregularities mentioned in the last two replies. Additionally, one occasionally notes the engraving design being being truncated by the edge lines sometimes seen on all-over engraved bracket clock backplates. I have not seen the subject discussed, however at times it seems as if the engraver started at the center and worked outwards or as if he had a pattern slightly larger than the backplate at hand.

Regarding late 17th. Century longcase mid-spandrel floral design "slipping" off the edge, I have wondered if the dials occasionally had to be trimmed to fit in the case. I have not seen writing commenting on assembly sequences. Further, I have a late 17th Century longcase here wherein, in addition to the floral design "slipping off the edge, the designs are not consistently engraved. The two side patterns face "in" as does the top one while the bottom pattern faces "out". This is not noticeable absent close inspection and one has to be looking for irregularities. The overall effect of a dial having a polished plate, finely matted center, raised/silvered chapter ring and applied gilded spandrels tends to hide inconsistencies.

The following photo should have been included in the original posting. It shows the hole in the original(presumed) bell being off-center. If the hammer hits the bell slightly at a tangent, the repeated blows over time may cause the bell to rotate and change the bell-to-hammer distance. Perhaps no rotation occurs with leather pieces on either side of the bell and the nut tightly cinched. The bell particulars are:

The center hole is over 1/4" off-center from the outside rim. The approximate bell dimensions are:

…height: 2 1/2" tall
…diameter: 5 3/4" OD
…thickness: variable along the periphery, 3/16" to 1/4" thick
… weight: 2 pounds, one-half ounce

Bruce

bell, top view.jpg
 

Jevan

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Yes I've noticed that engraving have a tendency to run under chapter rings at times. It is a bit odd given the engraver usually has the chapter ring to engrave too but it doesn't seem to indicate a problem.
Relatively recently I noticed at auction a mounted-dial longcase where typically the signature & place name would be symmetrically engraved about the six o'clock position on the chapter ring.
The engravers mind was obviously elsewhere as he managed to engrave the name & place about the number seven with the result that the dial look very unbalanced... however, this was apparently not considered enough of a mistake to remake the chapter ring.


There is also a Graham table clock known where the signature is positioned between the two subsidiary dials in the upper portion of the dial plate.
From its original manufacture date there has been an engraved signature plate placed over the original which was engraved upside down. :oops:

Graham.JPG
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Relatively recently I noticed at auction a mounted-dial longcase where typically the signature & place name would be symmetrically engraved about the six o'clock position on the chapter ring.
The engravers mind was obviously elsewhere as he managed to engrave the name & place about the number seven with the result that the dial look very unbalanced... however, this was apparently not considered enough of a mistake to remake the chapter ring. :oops:
You do wonder what it would take to get them to remove a mistake, you see letters added in from above, squashed in from the end, odd lines and slips of the graver. I do have a waywiser dial that clearly had a big mistake on the layout of the chapter ring as it was hammered all the way round on the back so they could start again.
 

Jezster18

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Your Lantern clock looks amazing, we owned one some years ago that luckily was still verge movement from 1680.
I wish we had not sold it, hopefully someone else is enjoying it.
 

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Regarding the bell, my hope is that the prior repair was not done with high temperature brazing, thus taking the temper out of the bell. I will see if I can improve the sound.
Tom Spittler had good results with soft soldering broken bells. I tried it on one and it worked, but it will restore it to original... maybe 70% ... it's a while back and going from memory.

Ralph
 

Jevan

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bwclock

Here's another Richard Lord lantern clock with an interesting signature connection to your clock.

The following information is taken from the 1985 book by Brian Loomes - Lantern Clocks & their makers.
The text suggests it's the only known Lord clock documented but there is another attributed clock, this could possibly be your clock.

The Loomes book, a classic reference work, credits the photographs to John Hooper who is himself an author having co-written with Jeff Darken the 1997 book English 30 Hour Clocks, Origin & Development 1600-1800, sadly both authors are no longer with us.

It's unclear if John Hooper owned the clock, it might have been commissioned work as he was first and foremost a clock restorer (of the highest order), either way I think this reflects well on how the Richard Lord clock was regarded.

Apologies for the quality of the scanning.

Added later.
Re-reading your opening post I realise you will already be aware of this information.

3.jpg
4.jpg
1.jpg
2.jpg
 
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bwclock

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bwclock

Here's another Richard Lord lantern clock with an interesting signature connection to your clock.

The following information is taken from the 1985 book by Brian Loomes - Lantern Clocks & their makers.
The text suggests it's the only known Lord clock documented but there is another attributed clock, this could possibly be your clock.

The Loomes book, a classic reference work, credits the photographs to John Hooper who is himself an author having co-written with Jeff Darken the 1997 book English 30 Hour Clocks, Origin & Development 1600-1800, sadly both authors are no longer with us.

It's unclear if John Hooper owned the clock, it might have been commissioned work as he was first and foremost a clock restorer (of the highest order), either way I think this reflects well on how the Richard Lord clock was regarded.

Apologies for the quality of the scanning.

Added later.
Re-reading your opening post I realise you will already be aware of this information.

View attachment 710108
View attachment 710109
View attachment 710110
View attachment 710111
Many thanks for the scanned information. Brian had mentioned his article to me but did not send me the details. I will add it to the information you just supplied to the Lord will and other information I have amassed pertaining to the clock. My hope is that the next owner might find the history and ephemera as interesting as I did. Fortunately the Lord is still here. I have been liquidating my clocks but did not have room on my tables at the recent Regional for the Lord lantern clock.

The clock shown in your scanned material is the same one sold by Robert Bruce a while back. It is interesting to note the differences in spelling in the under-dial engraving, as seems common in the early days, between the Bruce clock and mine. Also, it looks to me like a different hand did the engraving. The half-hour markers on the Bruce clock are different, in that the half-hour markers on my Lord are the "primitive star" style one sees as floating half-hour markers on some of the early dials.
Regards,
Bruce
 

Philip Snowden

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Earlier this year I purchased the English lantern clock described below, at auction. The auction description called the clock a "Modern Lantern Clock" and elaborated as follows:
Modern lantern clock, dial with Roman numeral chapter ring inset with black paint, engraved brass center, pierced hands, fusee drive, hour bell mounted above, partially masked by pierced frets, height 14 inches. CONDITION: Mvt: Running when wound, does not appear to be keeping time and will either need a service or regulation, fine-plus cosmetic mvt condition overall, tarnished plates; excellent dial with light paint loss in engraved Roman numerals; excellent hands; case finial has broken off and will need to be properly repaired.

There have been numerous comments over the years about old lantern clock cases being "up-dated" with fusee movements. Some individuals decrying the practice and others pointing out that at least part of a historical clock which might have been relegated to the scrap heap still survives. Sure, it would be great to have this clock with its original escapement and while we are at it, why not an original bracket, to boot. Realistically, the chain fusee movement is not the first modification this clock has endured.

The clock arrived without shipping damage as was as described in the auction, complete with its broken-off top finial. Upon removing the chapter ring the signature of the original maker was revealed. Richard Lord, who was admitted to the Clockmakers' Company as a Free Brother in 1632. The discovery of the name lead to an interesting and fun series of communications about this clock, other lantern clocks and early 17th. century English horological history with an individual who has written extensively about English lantern clocks.

My correspondent knows of one other lantern clock signed by Richard Lord (formerly with balance wheel escapement) and a possible third which is similar but unsigned. I found photos of the other signed Lord lantern clock and there are many similarities(frets, feet, finials, engraving...) between it and the example here. In the other Lord clock the shield is blank, i.e., not engraved with initials as the present clock is.

The chain fusee movement works properly All I have done to the clock is re-wax and re-silver the alarm and chapter rings and clean and wax the case. I did not polish the brass least the clock look shiny. I repaired the broken top finial. The existing bell is a large and very thick bell with a repaired crack and which does not sound good, having a "thunky" sound. For the meantime I put another bell on the clock pending efforts to fix the crack in the old bell. Detail photos of the old bell are included here. The last photo shows the old bell sitting on top of the clock in a vain attempt to show a side-by-side bell size comparison. Regardless, the auction house photo shows the clock with the proper bell.

Below are various photos, the first one being the auction house main photo. Some of these photographs are detail photos requested by my correspondent. One photo of the chapter ring shows that some of the original lay-out scribe marks were not polished out completely, which detail may be noted on some other lantern clock dials. Maybe this detail was considered unimportant as these early clocks were mounted high on the wall to increase their running time and lighting must have been sketchy at best.
Bruce

View attachment 687304 View attachment 687308 View attachment 687309 View attachment 687310 View attachment 687311 View attachment 687312 View attachment 687313 View attachment 687315 View attachment 687316 View attachment 687317 View attachment 687318 View attachment 687319 View attachment 687320 View attachment 687321 View attachment 687322 View attachment 687323
This clock is on here I believe but this clock is in a catalogue of clocks from 1998 .I have seen another R Lord Lantern but can’t think where at the moment.I am a fan of early engraving and love that on your Lord it’s just a pity they didn’t make all these conversions back winders and short pendulum so a massive hole wasn’t put in the bottom plate .

14A1D7E6-4C1F-4B4B-AB37-CFBB4272FB5F.jpeg 4E968369-D92B-4D84-B724-045D323C97AE.jpeg 67E49632-3AE5-48D4-9608-BE1FC1C465DD.jpeg
 

bwclock

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This clock is on here I believe but this clock is in a catalogue of clocks from 1998 .I have seen another R Lord Lantern but can’t think where at the moment.I am a fan of early engraving and love that on your Lord it’s just a pity they didn’t make all these conversions back winders and short pendulum so a massive hole wasn’t put in the bottom plate .

View attachment 714893 View attachment 714894 View attachment 714895
Hi Philip, thanks for the photos. The two black and white photos show the Lord lantern clock sold by W.F. Bruce a few years ago. For chuckles, below are two "comparison" photos of the W.F. Bruce Clocks and the clock in the book. The idiosyncrasies (faults?) are easy to spot on the chapter ring and dial engravings.

Re: it's just a pity they didn't make all these conversions back winders and short pendulum ...Agreed! It would be nice to not have the winding holes penetrating the dial. Of course, it it were a "backwinder" it would not be practical to run the clock unless the back of the case was accessible(say setting the clock on a table rather than on a mantel or shelf...the clock is too heavy to pick up and turn around to wind) and the old iron backplate was either modified to be hinged or had holes drilled to allow access to the winding arbors. More sacrilege!!

If the Lord hangs around here much longe I will duplicate the single hand on the W.B. Bruce clock. It will be more appropriate than the hour and minute hands currently on my clock.

Regards,
Bruce

Comparison  chapter ring.png Comparison dial engraving.png
 

Philip Snowden

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Hi Philip, thanks for the photos. The two black and white photos show the Lord lantern clock sold by W.F. Bruce a few years ago. For chuckles, below are two "comparison" photos of the W.F. Bruce Clocks and the clock in the book. The idiosyncrasies (faults?) are easy to spot on the chapter ring and dial engravings.

Re: it's just a pity they didn't make all these conversions back winders and short pendulum ...Agreed! It would be nice to not have the winding holes penetrating the dial. Of course, it it were a "backwinder" it would not be practical to run the clock unless the back of the case was accessible(say setting the clock on a table rather than on a mantel or shelf...the clock is too heavy to pick up and turn around to wind) and the old iron backplate was either modified to be hinged or had holes drilled to allow access to the winding arbors. More sacrilege!!

If the Lord hangs around here much longe I will duplicate the single hand on the W.B. Bruce clock. It will be more appropriate than the hour and minute hands currently on my clock.

Regards,
Bruce

View attachment 714940 View attachment 714941
Bruce if Bill Bruce sold that clock he must have bought it off John Hooper or his wife after Johns untimely death.Have been to all Bills exhibitions (3) and what fantastic clocks and also fantastic prices but a nice day out.I have three with fusees one verge which was purchased from the Henry Ford Museum and one re installed Balance wheel ,and the verge is in a 9 foot oak lantern case of the same period .Bin clock mad for years but not any people to talk about them in my area that’s why I quite enjoy this site on the internet .Phil PS I really love the engraving on your Lord Dial send see what you mean about a back winder ,awkward !,
 
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