• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

English Lantern Clocks - are they being reproduced?

Lincolnhill

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Jan 5, 2002
265
2
18
Good morning All,

I have always wanted to add an early 1700's English lantern clock to our collection and have started watching the various online auctions for options. I must say I am a bit surprised with the frequency with which they have been appearing, I would have guessed that they would be difficult to find and not sold with any regularity.

As as I am still in the education phase regarding these clocks, I need to ask the question, "Do I need to be careful, or at least watchful, of reproductions?" As this style clock can inherently be crude in their construction, perhaps they are easy to replicate and then artificially age? They tend to be sold by overseas sellers which may raise some red flags but also makes all the sense in the world as this is where they originally came from. I have no idea nor am I implying that some of the ones for sale are reproductions.....merely asking if anyone knows if they are being or had been reproduced. Just want to be sure when I purchase one that it is indeed +/-300 years old.

Thank you for any insights you all may have.

Michael
 

daveR

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Sep 10, 2008
324
9
18
melbourne, Australia
Country
Region
Both George White and Brian Loomes have written substantial books on these clocks, with George White in particular covering fakes,forgeries ,reproductions and replicas ! If you want to learn about these clocks buy or borrow either of these books for a thorough introduction. The Whit in particular is not cheap even secondhand, but it has been "the" book for a number of years. I am nit sure, but Loomes, book may still be available new.
Good luck, they are an interesting area of clock history.
David
 

jmclaugh

Registered User
Jun 1, 2006
5,168
213
63
Devon
Country
Region
Afaik English lantern clocks were made from around 1600 right up to the nineteenth century in some shape or form. The earliest ones had balance wheel escapements until the introduction of the pendulum into England around 1660 though many of these were subsequently converted to use a pendulum and anchor escapement. Early, if you like 'original' lantern clocks, are weight driven, of 30 hour duration and had a single hand other than when fitted with an alarm, they are never cheap to buy.

Afaik Loomes book is now also out of print, neither are cheap though White's is by far the most expensive.
 

JTD

Registered User
Sep 27, 2005
8,200
631
113
Country
You could ask you local public library to borrow these books for you (they might even have them in stock themselves). I did that and it saved me a fortune (White's book costs around $600 second hand!).

JTD
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,250
178
63
Australia
Country
Region
Probably best to stick to a reputable auction house or a dealer rather than an international seller from Eastern Romanian..... If possible it would be best to see the clock first hand but if not always ensure you get lots of high resolution photos so you can access the age of the clock and see if it looks right. Obviously, this is much easier with the reference books mentioned in previous replies.

Google "Thomas Moore of Ipswich lantern clocks" and you will get a fair idea of the number of repros which have been made. His name in particular has been used on recent repros.

Cheers
Dean
 

Lincolnhill

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Jan 5, 2002
265
2
18
Thank you everyone for the information. Sounds like I have some good reading to do!
 

DeanT

Registered User
Mar 22, 2009
1,250
178
63
Australia
Country
Region
I thought this was a great example of how difficult it can be to decide if a clock is a reproduction or original.

It was sold recently at Christies for over $2kUSD with the auction house mentioning 19thC in the description. I'm sure a few of the experts here will pick up on some of the flaws. I suspect some of the case dates to the 1670's when the clockmaker was alive. As you can see it is difficult to pick what is original and what is replaced. This is probably a good discussion piece so you can see what to look out for.

Cheers
Dean


IMG_4676.jpg IMG_4687.jpg IMG_4686.jpg IMG_4685.jpg IMG_4684.jpg IMG_4683.jpg IMG_4681.jpg IMG_4680.jpg IMG_4679.jpg IMG_4678.jpg IMG_4677.jpg IMG_4688.jpg
 

Attachments